When it was just Buck and I, grocery shopping was done every two weeks. That was mainly because we lived so far away from a shopping area. Even though we lived in "town," the community had little more than a convenience mart, which as not at all the place to spend grocery money.
Even though Glenn and I live out in the country, we have the luxury (to me) of living a matter of minutes from a reasonably large city that has several fine grocery stores, including an especially nice Kroger.
Now I shop once a week. For such things as paper towels, toilet paper, cat food and kitty litter I go to "the big city" to Sam's once a month. I use their "clilck and pull" feature, which allows me to go online and place my order. All I have to do then is to go to my selected Sam's store, retrieve my already filled cart, go to the service desk and pay. No more lines. I'm usually out of the store in 10 minutes...no matter how busy the store is or the time of the year. Hooray!!!
The remainder of our grocery items are purchased once a week and I keep to a strict list that is maintained all during the week. When we have a garden, many of our veggies are either canned or frozen. Last year we had a terrible drought, so no canning or freezing. Although, there has been enough remaining from the prior year that purchasing many of those items commercially has been unnecessary.
I only (always have) purchase what we'll eat/like. Of the items we consume the most, I look for sales, markdowns, etc., then buy in quantity and put in the pantry or package in appropriate portions and put into the freezer. As a result, we can eat like royalty on very little expenditure.
I've never been one to use prepackaged foods so the money we'd spend on such things can be used on other goodies.
Since I make all our bread products, there's no need to spend money on those and I was amazed the other day to see what a plain old house brand loaf of white bread costs! EEKS!!!! Last week I made two loaves of plain white bread, two loaves of pumpernickel, two of bacon-and-egg bread, two roasted garlic/rosemary baguettes, a dozen English muffins, and about one and a half dozen biscuits. All that must be worth a mint!!!
There's an old world butcher not too far away and I spoil us occasionally and buy some of their nice short ribs or oxtails. Actually, their meat is competitive in price with the area grocery stores and far better because it's nicely trimmed before
As for shopping and meal planning, I used to plan meals a month at a time when Buck was around. He liked a variety in his menu and didn't really care for leftovers.
Glenn is totally different. If I prepare something and we have some left, he'll eat it until it's gone...even if it takes three days. That has great value to it because it means I don't have to cook for several days in a row.
Glenn, too, likes his menu varied but it doesn't matter to him if we have a beef entree three days in a row, then pork or poultry. He's the easiest person I've ever cooked for. By now, I know his likes and dislikes and I relish making things I know he'll enjoy.
When it comes to "what's for dinner," I usually have some idea the night before or, at the latest, right after breakfast. Many times all I do is let inspiration hit and see where it takes me. I've been lucky in that there have been no colossal failures and many tasty experiences.
I much prefer shopping once a week because we can get, and keep, produce, especially lettuces. I love salads and hate reaching into the crisper drawer to find green goop instead of lettuce. Haven't had that problem in many years.
I have never liked grocery shopping and still don't but I try to make it as efficient and painless as possible. That's why I always have a list, stick to it and don't "graze" the stores. I'm definitely NOT an impulse shopper and endcap enticements are wasted on me. I get in and get out.