For years and years I created a menu plan every month. It started in 2003 when we started to pay off our debts and had a £90 grocery and household budget each month. At this time we'd also taken our car off the road to save more money, and with a steep hill on the way home, we had to be careful. We did try online shopping a couple of times but we had some poor quality vegetables and rubbish substitutions, not to mention no yellow stickers, so it was a no go for us.
Even when our budget wasn't tight I continued to plan for various reasons, the main one being that I didn't want to get cooking block and find myself standing in the pantry just before teatime with not a clue what to make. The times change though and over the past few months I've moved away from it, and I feel it has been beneficial. Without a plan I prevent cook block by having at least part of a meal ready to go, cook double for the following day, or at the very least I have a couple of ingredients I know I want to use so that's my starting point. When it comes down to it that's all I need to get going.
We've never been huge food wasters as planning means buying only what is needed anyway but not planning hasn't increased waste at all, in fact I tend to under buy these days as I'm conscious of waste. In fact I tend to only really think about evening meals for five days of the week as there will always be leftovers from at least one dish, and there's always enough for a pantry meal or twelve so I don't need to cram the fridge full of fresh food. It adds more creativity to cooking too as I can just have a quick look on my phone for a couple of ideas after looking at the ingredients I have.
This doesn't mean there will never be another plan, I know there will be one around Winter Festival as we're out and about so much that I'll need to keep control of the budget and the fridge so no money or effort is wasted, but for a normal week, I'm happy to relax a little bit, not that I have become a fan of cooking you understand!