I try to come up with at least 5 meals for the week and then either DH or I will run to the food store to get everything we need for the week. It really seems to help. Our meals are vegan. These are in our usual rotation...
creole red beans with quinoa
pasta with meatballs and red sauce
tacos - either with lentils or boca crumbles
tofu/vegetable stir fry with quinoa
hot dogs w/oven fries / burgers with oven fries
Take out -
Chinese or pizza
We buy dry chickpeas and keep them on hand. The night before we do chana masala DH soaks the chickpeas and slow cooks them so we have a huge amount of chickpeas to use for the week -- for this and for salads, for just eating with Goddess dressing, etc.
All these meals are super easy and require little brain power and prep. Stirfry and burgers/dogs are for nights when we just don't feel like cooking or it got late and theres no time. They are super fast, filling, and DD will eat them with minimal fighting.
Every two weeks DH does a Costco run -- we stock up on hummus, coffee, bananas, apples (these run out usually before the two weeks are up), guacamole & chips, bread, soymilk, frozen broccoli, frozen stir fry blend veggies, Boca burgers, and of course paper goods (tp and paper towels). He will also run to the asian food store and get a bunch of tofu. Every time he goes into Manhattan for work (1-2 times a month) he goes to Whole Foods for Daiya (cheese) and then to this really awesome asian market in Chinatown that has vegan nuggets and cutlets and other meat analogues that we can use throughout the week for lunches.
We try to do takeout only 1X per week, but we've been abusing China Wok and Papa Johns since the baby came. LOL.
I don't like to do meals with lots of chopping and prepping. And I can't seem to get into the idea of slow cooking -- I wish I could b/c it sounds super easy. I tried a couple of times to make meals in it, and both things I made came out super bland and soggy. Very disappointing.