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Meal Planning Menu | Overlapping Ingredients | Week 4

Knowing what food to serve each day of the week can be a challenge at times. You purchase ingredients and have extras that go to waste, you get sick and tired of eating the same style of food every single night…this week’s meal plan focuses on key ingredients and variety. It offers you an easy Sunday dinner, Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, and other delicious dinners for the rest of the week. Choose one day for leftovers, ordering a pizza, or eating out with friends!


7 Day Meal Plans for Families, week 4 menu | Easy Meal Planning | Family Meal Plan | Family Dinner | Dinner Ideas | Dinner Recipes | Entree Recipes | Meal Planning | 7-Day Meal Plan | RecipesGreat for Pinning Image Pin It Button


Be sure to check out my old post “Top 5 Family Dinners and How to Stretch Your Ingredients” for more ingredient-overlapping tips!


To see the weekly-updated menu meal planning series, bookmark this post: Managable 7 Day Meal Plan Ideas for Families


Scroll to the end for a free printable meal plan and shopping list!



Chicken Parm Lasagna


Chicken Parm Lasagna. Click the picture to get the recipe.



Vegetable Egg Rolls with Avocado




Fiesta Rice Taco Boat


Fiesta Rice Boat with Old El Paso and Avocados from Mexico. Click the picture for the recipe.



Homestyle Goulash




Whole Grain Blueberry Pecan Granola Pancakes




Baked Parmesan Chicken Casserole




Family Choice

Tonight, have pizza at home, heat up some leftovers, or dine out with friends!


Get your free printable weekly meal plan and shopping list! Use these either by slipping the sheets into cheap presentation sheet protectors and a dry erase marker or laminate it! I used my Scotch laminating machine which is awesome. I highly recommend it (especially if you homeschool like we do!).


Meal Planning Printable Fridge

(Also pictured above: FREE printable Hidden Treasures Ocean coloring page and Let’s Color Together dual-level coloring book.)


Once you have your pages laminated, add two stick-on square magnets to the top on the back. Hang them on the refrigerator for easy menu viewing and a convenient way to keep track of your shopping list needs as you pull items from the fridge.

Use a thin dry erase marker if you wish. Personally, I opted for a thin permanent marker so my words were clearer and the kids couldn’t wipe it off. “Oh no!” you think, “Why laminate it then use permanent marker so it can’t be removed and re-used?” Have no fear–you can easily clean off the permanent marker using a Magic Eraser or some hair spray!


Meal Planning Printable Fridge Close


How to fill out the meal planning sheet:

  1. Add the date at the top of the sheet to show which week this is for.
  2. Fill in the numbers for each day of the week.
  3. Write down the names of the recipes you will be making. I recommend using the recipe names as written in the title of the recipe, as well as including the site name it came from or cookbook title for convenient referencing back. You can also add other specific additions to the meal such as sides or dessert as needed. Use this just for dinner or write smaller to include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

How to fill out the shopping list sheet:

  1. Fill in the dates to match the meal planning sheet. This will help you to know make sure your meal planning sheet and shopping list are always matching.
  2. Once you know which recipes you will be making each day, plan your shopping trip. Add the ingredients needed for each recipe under their coordinating day of the week and aisle in the store. This will help you to be more organized as you shop. Take this list along with you or simply transfer the list onto your notebook paper or shopping list phone app.

    You may want to add ingredient amounts to your shopping list if you need a good amount. For instance, rather than simply adding chicken to multiple days, you could add “1 chicken breast,” “2 pounds of chicken,” etc, so you know how much each recipe calls for and the amount you will need to purchase in total.

    If more than one recipe uses the same item, but a small enough amount that you will have some left over from the earlier meal, only write it down once on the shopping list to avoid purchasing an excess when you are at the store.

A pop-up window will show; scroll down with the scroll bars or with the page down or down arrow buttons on your keyboard to download. The file will be instantly sent to the email provided.

Download Your Free Meal Planning and Shopping List Printable


Notice how the meals I have selected overlap, but are different in styles of food. The egg rolls and taco boat both use avocado, cilantro, and tomatoes, but are very different cuisines. See how I have added bacon to the night we will eat pancakes? One of the recipes during the week also uses bacon, but an amount that will leave leftovers. Why waste the extras when you can add them as a side for some delicious whole grain pancakes?


Meal Planning Week 4 Overlapping Ingredients Square


I have also spread out types of meals so you will not be eating chicken or pasta every single night. Try nights that are meatless. Add red meat one night. Mix things up so your family doesn’t get bored with the same dinner night after night.

What is your favorite dinner to eat as a family? Share with me in the comments!

Read also: String Cheese Dress Up Family Challenge and 10 Laundry Hacks and Tips Every Mom Needs

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  1. Your Chicken Parm Lasagna sounds pretty good. I like your shopping list idea. It will make shopping in the store much quicker.

  2. Our faborite food to make as a family is pizza, because it is one of the few times that our kids can help in the kitchen and actually be helping!!

    • Making pizza together is so much fun! I bet they could also help make chicken parmesan (just have them sprinkle the chicken with mozzarella cheese and sauce then re-heat a bit before serving) or taco bowls (I have a great Fiesta Rice Boat recipe that’s always a hit.).

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