You’re busy but you have to eat. You want to make quick and healthy meals for you and your family without crashing your grocery budget. Here is a 7-day family meal plan that fits all that and is super delicious!
7 Day Family Meal Plan on a Budget
Pop tarts and tater tots do not a healthy diet make. They might be fast and cheap and okay in a pinch but that kind of eating isn’t great for you long term. But it’s easy to reach for food like that when you’re hungry and have no idea what to make for dinner.
You are busy and want to feed yourself and your family and not spend an hour in the kitchen and lots of time planning or prepping.
Enter this cheap meal plan for families on a budget! All these meals are well-rounded, delicious, and quick to make.
The meals feature a good mix of pantry staples (pasta, oats, spices) so you can save money by eating out of your pantry, as well as fresh ingredients (fruits and veggies, eggs, chicken) to give lots of flavor and staying power.
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Healthy Family Meal Plan Kitchen Tools
These are my absolute favorite kitchen tools for quick and easy meal prep (check out my HelloFresh review for the EASIEST meal prep). Having a few good pieces of kitchen equipment makes it so much easier to cook, and will actually make you want to cook more at home too.
Aka: a ceramic pot with a lid. I use the dutch oven all the time from fall through spring, just not in the hottest summer months. Throw a bunch of ingredients in the pot, cover with enough liquid, and cook on low heat for a couple of hours. Veggies and meats come out so tender and flavorful, and it warms your house and makes it smell delicious. I love this thing. I use it to make no-knead breads too.
It’s not news that slow cookers are super popular. This is a great inexpensive slow cooker, but for now I am sticking with my good old dutch oven.
I can’t say enough about cast iron cookware. It’s sturdy, lasts practically forever, cooks evenly, and goes inside the oven or on the stovetop. Love love love my cast iron cookware. At the minimum get a large cast iron pan – they’re great for stir fry, cooking eggs, one-dish chicken recipes, pancakes, making skillet cookies, and so much more. This cast iron skillet is my favorite – we have tons of cast iron cookware in our kitchen from this brand.
Another meal prep tool that I love is the immersion blender. It can take 10 minutes to make and puree a soup with an immersion blender and I find it easier and way less messy than transferring to a regular blender.
That’s it! Just a few basics to make meal planning easier.
Now to the family meal plan!
7 Day Family Meal Plan
This 7-day meal plan includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Just add 2-3 snacks per day and you’ll have a well-rounded day of eats!
Some of the dinner recipes are vegetarian (but all hearty and delicious, so don’t worry my meat-loving friends). If you want to add more protein to make it more filling, buy a free-range roasted chicken and shred and add to any of the dinner recipes.
Some dinner recipes in this 7-day family meal plan should make leftovers (the lasagna recipes make a lot). I’m a huge fan of dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. If you are too and you end up with leftovers, you might not need to make lunch at all the next day.
If you work outside of the home and everyone wings it for lunch, then skip the lunch recipes and look at the delish breakfast and dinner recipes in this family meal plan. You could also swap one of the lunch recipes in this meal plan and use it for dinner instead.
This weekly dinner menu is kid-friendly, and parent-friendly too, meaning a good amount of variety and different flavors to keep things interesting.
Breakfast: English Muffin with Apple and Cheddar
Lunch: Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup with toast
Breakfast: Breakfast Banana Pops
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwich with carrots on the side
Dinner: Spanish Tortilla
Breakfast: Cherry Chocolate Overnight Oats
Lunch: Tomato and Basil Omelet
Dinner: Dragon Noodles with mixed side salad
Breakfast: Eggs with Tortilla Chips, Salsa, and Cheese
Lunch: Broccoli Soup with crackers and cheese
Dinner: Tomato and Caper Linguine
Breakfast: Yogurt and Granola Parfaits
Dinner: Garlic Noodles with mixed vegetables
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bake
Dinner: Sesame Chicken
Breakfast: Healthy Pumpkin Scones
Dinner: Pasta Frittata
7-day family meal plan solution: Ultimate Meal Planner + Guide
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