When I had young kids and a full-time job, our dinner rotation varied only slightly from week to week. Being on autopilot was not exciting, but it took a lot less time and thought than planning new meals. It had another advantage; it kept our food budget relatively stable.
Those days are long gone; now my food choices and budget can be all over the map. There are weeks when we eat yogurt or eggs for dinner 2 or 3 nights and that sure keeps our food budget down, and other times when I save almost by accident because I've got a hankering for simple soups or stews made from beans, vegetables, and a bit of meat. On the other hand, if I’m not careful, I can spend a bundle making dinners with exotic - and expensive – ingredients.
Those who carefully plan every meal and shop as if it were a chess game hardly need my advice. These tips are for the rest of us.