Taking some time to pick your recipes and make a list of everything you’ll need in advance can help you be more efficient and take some of the stress out of cooking at home—even if you don’t always stick to the plan.
Below is some of what people had to say online. Click here to take part in the conversation on Facebook.
"When I finally got a smartphone I installed a meal planning app (the one I use is called Food Planner, it's not fancy but it works for me). It's changed everything! I think because it's electronic and not on paper, I feel less tied down - I can swap one day's plan to another day or another week if I'm not feeling a particular meal that day (like, if I've planned for tuna melts but it turns out to be a rainy, miserable, soup-demanding day). It also helps me make more tactical use of leftovers; if I roast a chicken, I can remind myself to make chicken stock to integrate into a menu item for a specific day later in the week, or if I have a decent amount of leftovers I can stick them in the freezer and enter them into the menu plan for, say, two or three weeks down the road. Once upon a time, my deep-freeze was where leftovers went to die, but now I actually know what's in there, and when I'm supposed to eat it. Game changer." —Andreae Callanan
"We use an app as well "Our Groceries". I find meal planning is the only way to have fresh homemade meals on time each evening. Especially with full time work and children. I wrote about it last year: http://oliviacanela.com/meal-routine-with-a-toddler-in-tow/" —Paula Mendoça
"Making food is one of my big de-stressors (and thinking about food, and shopping for food, and facebooking about food, and...). Some things that take a while to prepare of course need planning, but I try to keep a well-stocked kitchen and love to figure out what we're having based on mood, new ideas that I just discovered, or ingredients that caught my eye when shopping. I know I'm in a pretty privileged situation with the flexibility, location, etc. where I can experience this as a joyful highlight of life." —Robert
For more information:
Lifehacker rated a few apps that will help you do this on your mobile device at http://lifehacker.com/five-best-meal-planning-apps-1533809184