Menu Planning for the Working Catholic Mom

Menu blog image

I have some exciting book reviews and interviews coming up in the next few weeks – both here and at CatholicMom.

One of the books reminded me to post my month-long menu planning, in order to grocery shop only once a month.  When I have done this, the fruit of that effort has been:

  1. Cheaper grocery/eating out bill each month because of preparation;
  2. Less time in the kitchen because the menu is planned and I don’t spend inordinate amounts of time “thinking” and figuring out what to make for dinner;
  3. Less stress because everyone is on board, and knows what is coming up.  When children come home in the evening, they are able to start their tasks, like homework, helping the little ones, or chilling out a little.
  4. More time for Mommy to spend with each kid on evening activities.

All in all, the stress levels are reduced, and our family is able to focus on what is important in our family:  faith first, family always, and a little reading/relaxation time.  It works very well.

Here is the menu plan I created last December (2012) that incorporated both the menu and the evening Advent activity each night.  The Advent stuff will make more sense when I review Dr. Jennifer Grenardo’s book, “Danny Celebrates Advent.”  Let’s just put it this way…my 7 year old loved the book, and she also loves our Advent traditions!  This book will surely be one for the kid’s reading shelves – entertaining and most importantly:  catechetical.

DOWNLOAD A FREE ADVENT AND MENU PLANNER!

Meanwhile, I would LOVE to hear how other working Catholic momma’s create mealtime routines, considering your work outside of the home, along with all the other responsibilities.

Peace of Christ to you and yours!

Mary

Comments

  1. Stacey Morales says:

    Mary,

    Thanks for sharing. We do something very similar, but I do it a week at a time . We shop every Saturday for the week. I try to find coupons for the things we need on the list. We generally spend about $200-$250 per week on food and household items. It has really helped us stay on budget and does certainly cut down on the stress of guessing what to cook every night. It has allowed us more time to spend with family and time to read Gods word. Praise you for all you do.

    Love your cousin n law.

    Stacey

    • Thank you, Stacey! I used to do once a week, but I was tired of grocery shopping once a week! I love saving money, for sure!

      I think what works best for your family in terms of saving money, having more quality time as a family, and leads to holiness is what is best!

      I miss you guys!!

      Mary

  2. Hi there – I found you on the Internet because I was looking for other Catholic mom bloggers who work outside the home !

    In my experience, different families prioritize different aspects of family dinner. A friend will have her eat family dinner very late, because the most important things are good food and that they are all together.

    In my case, I wanted dinner to be eaten at a reasonable time, when we were all together, and I didn’t want there to be a struggle over what to eat.

    I went back to work, part-time, when my kids were 3 and 18 months. I created a schedule that was easy and worked for us for two years. Every Sunday we had roast chicken with sweet potatoes and green beans. Every Monday was leftover chicken and sweet potatoes with broccoli. Every Tuesday was meat tacos and edamamae. Every Wednesday was pasta with meat sauce and broccoli. Every Friday was pan fried tilapia . . . you get the idea. Every week was almost exactly the same for two years – and it worked for us beautifully. Everyone liked what I served, dinner was stress free, and we saved money because we stocked up.

    The only downside was that my kids developed a pretty limited repetoire (although healthy) of dinner foods. They’ve gotten better because as they are older now I can experiment more and bribe them to eat new foods.

    But that boring meal planning totally worked for us for almost two years, and there’s no way I would do anything differently now !

    • I think that’s an awesome system! My family would booooo the boring, but I can totally see how it would work. I could do it for sure.

      I am working on my October menu right now, making my grocery list. I am trying a new thing this month where I will bulk cook for the week on Sunday afternoons after church, and the girls can help me. First of all, I was thinking they could use some more practice cooking, but the weekdays are difficult for them as well. Sunday afternoon is perfect for us to do it. Now we can cook and freeze, or put in the refrigerator for all week’s meals.

      Thank you for sharing! These are great tips!

      Peace of Christ to you and yours!
      Mary

  3. What a fabulous resource, Mary!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  4. Thank you for your wonderful writing!
    I am thinking about becoming a Catholic as I am deeply in love with God and also with a Catholic man.
    It is therefore helpful to read about Catholic life and thought on your blog.

    All the best from Germany and have a wonderful weekend,

    Bambi

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/09/have-wonderful-weekend_27.html

    • Bambi,

      My husband was a convert, after going through the RCIA program.

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Prayers for you and your Catholic man!

      Peace of Christ to you and yours!

      Mary

  5. Hi Mary:

    Loved the post! Would really appreciate seeing some of your recipes for the delicious-sounding menu options you posted. The plan that you’ve devised for a month-long menu with one grocery shopping trip is fabulous! My best back in the day of a full house was a weekly to bi-weekly rotation – love the month idea:) As you know, I am in a different season of life now with my children gone, so what I am finding is the weekly seems to work well for us in terms of an overall plan for sides and accompaniments to the meal. However, I find I spend less if I make a daily, or every other day, quick trip to the local store for our meat item. I’m still trying to learn how to buy less volume – I’m so accustomed to cooking in large quantities! I buy just enough for a meal for one or two nights, and possibly enough volume for one leftover night – otherwise, we tend not to eat the leftovers and/or not be consistent with getting the food into the freezer. It’s an ongoing learning process as we adjust to our new situation. What I do notice is a peace about meal planning, which is a great gift. Of course, I’d rather have the glorious chaos of a full house as you have the great grace to have, in which case I’d be using your wonderful menu plan! Miss you, love you, praying for you! Hope what is working our home regarding meal planning might be of some small help to another reader of your blog who is an “empty nester” like me:) God bless, Staci

    • Staci,

      Your thoughts about the season of life you are in right now are preparing me for the all-to-soon season in my life…And I would love to have The Working Catholic Mom readers hear from you about that season, as well, as you continue in your faith journey as a working Catholic momma.

      I will definitely publish these recipes. Also, I’ve partnered with another young woman of faith who is going to do fitness challenges on the blog. That’s coming soon! I think for those of us who work outside of the home, we let fitness go to the wayside…she’s going to introduce quick day to day things you can do to improve your fitness that won’t involve an hour in the gym!

      I miss you TONS!!!!

      Peace and Blessings! Love you,

      Mary

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