I have been doing freezer cooking for a whole year now! Before that I tried everything from not doing any planning, to writing out a dinner menu each week … but the freezer cooking has worked really well for our family during the last year! I do a big cook day (and put 35-50 meals in the freezer) about every other month. This has allowed me to have more time with my family during the pre-dinner hours, to not have to sit down and plan meals every week, to not eat leftovers all the time (or throw away leftovers that didn’t get eaten), and to have fun cooking together with other friends on a cook day.
At the beginning of each month I print out a calendar for the month. I look at my kitchen calendar and put in any trips we might have planned or dinner plans that have been made in advance and figure those into my planning. Then I begin to fill in the dinner meals for each day (sometimes dinner and lunch on Sundays,) using the meals that I have in my freezer as a guide. I probably use about 5-6 frozen meals per week since usually we do homemade pizza one night a week, we may do dinner with friends one night, a date night out, or actually make something easy together (we love mac n/cheese, nachos, or breakfasts for dinner!) So then I have my plan (note: I do not stick to this totally, and many times rotate what we eat on what days, but it helps me to have it all out there if I don’t have more time to plan!) and I tack it up on the fridge.
Each week I sit down with my monthly menu and write out my grocery list based on the dinners planned and restocking for lunches, breakfasts, staples, and snacks. I try to buy things that are on sale and use coupons to get some great deals!
Side note: When Matt and I were both working, I was doing a weekly meal plan and putting that up on the fridge. This was helpful because even if Matt got home before I did, he could still get a jump start on dinner!