I'm now starting to get into a rhythm for planning. Friday afternoon during K's nap is when I sit down with my recipe binder of all the recipes I've clipped from magazines, my laptop with Epicurious and my little meal planning notepad. I also have a cup of tea and cookies. I've decided that meal planning is the way that I'm going to try those recipes that I've always hung onto, but never made. When I sit down to go through the binder, I can scan exactly how long something will take, and can note whether I need to purchase anything different at the store.
I use the weekends to try stuff that is more time consuming, or that really requires my undivided attention. K and her dad have a lot of football to watch together, so they are pretty busy these days :). K and I go to the grocery store about once per week for a big stock up, and then we will walk to the farmers' market or to the grocery store a few other times to pick up the little incidentals and fresh produce as needed. So far, it's working! I am not really wasting food anymore, and I feel like we are benefiting from working some new recipes into the old standbys. How do you menu plan? Also, what is your pantry staple supper for the night when everything goes wrong, but you feel too cheap to spring for takeout?