I am the worst meal planner ever. We always get fed and I do the cooking . . but planning, well, I open the freezer and stare at the contents a lot. LOL (however, I always have fresh veges as I hate frozen ones)
I live alone and just tend to cook what I want each night as I feel the inclination for anything!
When my son was at school,I always had an idea in the morning what I would be cooking that night.It made life so much easier when feeding more than just me! But now,I often simply feel like fruit and cheese for my evening meal,so that is what I shall enjoy!!When I am given freshly caught fish,I always cook that straight away,as it is the ONLY way to really get the best from it.I always have a good supply of fresh fruit and vegies,as my neighbour takes me shopping for these every few days,when HE is going for his own,so THAT part of my meal is easily sorted!!
Nowadays, I don't 'plan', per se.
I just eat what I feel like doing so at the time. No regime there, either, just have something when the mood takes me, be it 4pm or 10pm!
I tend to shop, if, & when the need arises. As long as I've plenty of fresh fruit, & veggies at home, I can 'whip up' a small meal, as desired.
Was looking at 'Recipe Yum' last night, which gave me inspiration to cook, in small casserole dish, some spuds, onion, tomato, & chorizo, layered, & just covered in veggie stock.
I really enjoy this simple type of meal.
Other 'stand-by's' are Salmon & Rice Kedgeree, so simple. Also, spud, onion, sliced cabbage, with chopped chook pieces, in chook stock.
Usually about a week. I usually know what type of meal I will be having well in advance, so it is just a matter of making sure that I have the meat and all the veggies, if required, for that meal. Then I can buy it. If I run out of any staple items at home, then I have to go out and replace those between shops.
If I'm thumbing through recipes and find several I like, I add what I need to a mental list and purchase with my weekly shop. However my husband usually has other ideas. He does most of the cooking and is quite boring inasmuch as he tends to cook exactly the same meat and veggies with that meat all the time. I like different veggies for a change with a new recipe. It's not rocket science to follow recipe instructions so I guess I just have to keep on trying to get him to change his routine.
Cooking for one these days means I don't plan either like most of you, eat what I want and when, Sometimes I "feel" like something "yummy" and then will make it, but usually only if feeding more than one will I plan.
I have a general plan in my head. I have staples that I buy at least once a week so I have to plan at least a week in advance. I do not like having to run back and forth to the store because I didnt plan well.
We have the same thing on each night of the week, e.g: Tin tuna on Sundays, Chicken on Mondays etc, but I only make the recipe once year, so when I've run of that days meat from the freezer, & buy more when I'm shopping again.