For me, I plan my dinners FIRST! I make sure I know exactly what I'm having for dinner each night, down to side dishes and toppings on my salads (different types of dressings have different PP values!). I make sure to reserve those PP for dinner and adjust my breakfast and lunch accordingly.
Here's the planning document I use to plan my meals: (I start my week on Saturday because I generally do my shopping on Friday) It's just something I made in PowerPoint, nothing fancy...but if you'd like me to email you the Power Point let me know, I'd be happy to share!
The first thing I do is fill in my dinners for the week:
I figure out the PP values for my dinners for the week, then write the remaining balance for the day to the right. (Sorry, I scratched some out before I remembered to take the picture). I do this because dinner is the most important dinner of the day for me. I want to eat the same thing that my family is eating. I already refuse to make different meals for the kids, so why would I cook a special meal for myself? Some of my recipes aren't necessarily "Weight Watchers friendly", but that's the whole point of Weight Watchers...eating what you want, just controlling your portions and being aware of what you're putting in your body. I just have to adjust what I have for breakfast and lunch if I'm having a high PP value dinner.
After I have my dinners all figured out, I fill in the rest of my meal plan for the week:
It isn't pretty, but it gets the job done :) I like having my entire week of meals planned out, including snacks, because it takes the guess work out of it. If I'm feeling a little hungry in the afternoon and I want a snack, I'll just look at my meal plan instead of looking in the pantry! I really do find that I do a better job staying on track when I do this.
Now, of course there are times when I stray from "the plan", but I don't get all thrown off when I do. I just make simple adjustments for the day and make sure I stick with the same number of PP values for my breakfast and lunch so I can still have the same dinner. The best part of WW is the 49 Flex points you get every week! So if I go over by 1 or 2 PP sometimes, it's not going to kill my week.
You may have noticed on Wednesday, I planned 3 PP for a beer. I decided to go ahead and track the beer this week, but once I get into a good routine and feel back in control of my diet, I'll use flex points for my alcoholic beverages. I'm not a big fan of using points for drinks, I like to save them for food!! But, sometimes a girl just needs a drink :)