WHEN YOU GET HOME...
Take out your preliminary meal list and note any changes or substitutions or any last minute additions (or inspirations!!). It's best to do this while you have the food in front of you so that you don't forget anything.
Now divide up the meat into meal sized portions and pop it straight in the freezer. Put the stuff that needs chilling into the refrigerator.
Now it's time to organise the pantry!
I put the ingredients for each meal in a separate pile (not including herbs and spices and oils etc, just the tins and packets). This allows me to grab them quickly when it comes time to cook a certain meal. It also allows me to make sure that I do have all the ingredients. Eg I would put a packet of penne pasta with a tin of tomatoes and a tube of tomato paste all ready to make Penne in a Tomato Sauce.
Now I type up the new list of meals, transferring any remaining meals from the previous list to the new list.
If you find that that you keep transferring the same meals then it's time to cook up that meal and then scratch it off the list!
I keep the list in order of key ingredient. By organising the list this way I avoid cooking several chicken dishes in a row etc. You could always consult with your household about what they might like to eat that night or (better still) delegate the cooking to someone else - after all they have a menu plus all the ingredients to hand LOL.
Once finished I print my list and stick it to the fridge.
That was fairly straightforward wasn't it??!!
Now comes the easy part - once you have cooked a meal you tick it off your list.