Thanksgiving is almost here and one month later it will be Christmas! That’s two of the biggest meals of the year just a month apart. If you have ever hosted one of these holiday meals then you know that it can be expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting! But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be. With a few tips and some planning ahead you can take the stress out of the holidays and make memories that will last forever.
1. Get a head count- Having an accurate headcount will get you off on the right foot. If you know who is coming then you can avoid having too much food, or worse: not having enough.
2. Shop sales- Shop the deals from the sales ads and start shopping early. Don’t wait until the week of the dinner to shop as the stores will be packed and items will be picked over. Consider buying grocery Store brands to help with your budget.
3. Covered dish- Take some of the load off of yourself! Bake the turkey or ham, make a couple side dishes and assign, or have others, to volunteer to bring a side, dessert or drinks. Keep a list of what everyone is bringing so that you know what you will have and no one brings the same, or similar, dish.
4. Buy in bulk- I love shopping at stores like Sam’s and Costco. They are a great place to purchase your paper products, canned foods, desserts, and pies. At bulk stores, the price per unit is reduced and you are getting more for your money. Just be careful not to buy too much of an item that will not last!
5. Turkey- Don’t just buy the first turkey you see in the store. Stores will be running sales on turkeys up until Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Check your sales ads and consider buying a frozen turkey instead of a fresh one to help your budget out a little.
6. Have a plan- Once you know who is coming you can get your game plan together. You will know how much to cook for, what dishes to assign to others, what tasks to assign to people, who’s bringing what versus what you’re going to make, how many people are attending, and exactly what you need.
7. Decorations- Use what you have to decorate or buy some cheap, small pumpkins and gourds to decorate. You could also check out the dollar tree and get creative festive bring out your fall decor that is not Halloween. Check out some Thanksgiving decoration ideas here: http://thefrugalsisters.com/8-thanksgiving-decoration-ideas/
8. Keep it Simple- You don’t need to pull out your best china and be left with a ton of work to do once everyone leaves. Instead, opt for sturdy, disposable plates and cups to make clean up much easier. Don’t go all out of new sides you’re not sure everyone will love, stick with a simple menu with the traditional, loved by all, sides. Having everyone bring a dish will help keep things as simple as it possibly can be for yourself.
Thanksgiving and Christmas should be a wonderful memory you share as you gather with those that are most important in your life. Follow our tips to ensure that you enjoy the day instead of stressing over the meal and making sure that there are no disasters. Last but not least, try not to put so much pressure on yourself! We all want to put together the perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas, but in the end, it’s about enjoying time with your family and being thankful for the amazing blessings you have in life.
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