Different things work for different folks. This is what works for me.
I prefer to monthly menu for sake of time and convenience. I only have to do it 12 times a year compared to 52 times a year.
I try to be flexible. There are times when things come up and I need not cook and those planned meals are saved for the next month. Although, that rarely happens.
How I compile my menu is by taking stock of my pantry, freezers and cabinets. I am a stockpiler. We always have enough food for about 2 months on hand at given time. Keep in mind it may be several of the same things. I do shop every week. I always look to stockpile. I shop loss leaders at my local Piggly Wiggly. I shop at Wal-Mart but only with comp ads and coupons. Every week we buy milk, produce, some snacks, bread, cheese, sandwich fixings, Gatorade and various other items. I also shop at Aldi and Target every two weeks.
We grow many of the things that are found in our freezers and jars in the pantry (home canned). I highly recommend having a garden if at all possible.
I have lots of cookbooks. I am a collector, although a smaller collector than I was a couple years back. I am down to about 200 or so now. I make it a rule to try at least one new recipe a week. If it's a keeper it goes into my online file, if not it's tossed.
I also use lots of tried and true recipes. These are things like vegetables with cornbread. Taco salad, tacos, spaghetti, crock pot meals, Brunswick stew, chili, enchiladas and Santa Fe soup.
I like to cook meat ahead of time and divide into freezer bags for later use. I try to always do this with large quanities and fresh (not frozen) meats. This saves a step and time for me. Time is precious when you have multiples or a large family.
I have found even though it can sound complicated that menu planning is just a matter of assembling an inventory list, matching up recipes and setting up your planner.
I hope this helps and answers the questions you've had. Please let me know if I can help in other ways. Many blessings!!!!!