I started making out a scheduled menu for the week when I was a full time hospital Director with 4 busy children and a husband to feed each day. Having a pre-plan kept me from having to worry about what to make for dinner each day and it reduced the amount of cooking I had to do.
When working I relied on crockpots a lot!! I would put my main menu meal in one crockpot and a vegetable in another crockpot, slice up some fruit and in a few minutes dinner was served!
I am retired now, I only have to cook for three-- myself, my husband and my elderly mother who I care for. I use a new menu scheduling approach, I call it my "productivity planning system." It is similar to the meal prep trend but, I don't do all my cooking in one day.
Last week on Monday I made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. I purposely made extra meatballs so we could have meatball sliders over the weekend.
I made extra pasta so I could use the leftovers with the Chicken Alfredo meal I scheduled for Friday night.
On Tuesday I scheduled Taco's and browned enough ground beef/turkey to make my Unstuffed Peppers Casserole on Thursday night.
On Wednesday I make baked chicken and rice. I made enough to use the rice for my casserole on Thursday and the leftover chicken for my Chicken Alfredo on Friday.
I simply try to cook in bulk at the beginning of the week and then use the leftovers to make new dishes for the rest of the week.
When I have my menu schedule, then I make out my grocery list and place my order on line. It's a simple once a week process that reduces cooking time and makes eating "leftovers" much more appealing.