Thanksgiving is just three days away, are you ready? If you are like me, the holiday season came way to quickly this year. So once again, here we are wondering where the time went and how we are already nearly at the end of another year.
The holiday season usually revolves around two things: food and gifts. Today, I want to share some tips for cooking holiday meals. I’ll talk about gifts in a later post.
I wrote a couple of articles on Blogher with some advice to help plan your holiday meals. The first article, 10 Frugal Kitchen Tips for the Holiday Hostess, is my top ten list for meal planning. The article discusses everything from creating your menu to shopping for the best holiday deals. My second article, Basic Freezing Techniques for Holiday (Or Any Day) Meal Planning, has some tips to help you plan ahead for the holiday by making food ahead of time and freezing.
Thrifty Fun also had a list of tips to help with holiday meal planning:
Don’t Stress over Holiday Meals, Plan ahead. Stress is really about the unknown, do I have enough of; will I get this done in time? So some intelligent planning ahead of time, will help to take a lot of stress out of holiday meals.
One of the most important things I ever learned, is my family would rather have me on holidays, instead of having me slave away at a holiday meal all day. I would rather spend time with my family as well. There are lots of ways to reduce your work load, increase your family time,and have a great meal too.
1. Have a buffet style meal:
I have done this a few different years, I cooked up and chopped up a few different buffet type foods a day or two before,then we put it all on a table and handed everyone paper plates and plastic utensils. Add a tablecloth, and some decorations to keep it festive, and Have fun!!
2. Ask Family Members to bring their favorite dish:
Many hands makes light work, ask each family member to bring something, and depending on the amount of guests you have, much of your work will be done for you. Don’t be shy, most people don’t mind helping out, they just have no idea what to do.
3. Plan Ahead:
No matter what type of meal you choose to have, planning well ahead of time, can make all the difference. There are lots of parts of your meal, that can be prepped a week or more ahead of time, and placed in the freezer,pies, rolls, and cookies can all be pre-made and frozen. A lot of items can be made the day before. All of this will minimize your work on the big day.
4. Get yourself a small Peechee type folder:
like the ones that students do their reports in. Put your meal planning sheets and notes in the notebook with all the recipes you plan to use.There is nothing worse than getting to the holiday, and not being able to find the recipe for Grandma’s special stuffing. If you plan your meal, and collect your recipe, a few weeks ahead of time, then you will be well organized, and much less likely to stress.
5. Shop Ahead:
If you get your meal plan and your recipes collected ahead of time, then you will be able to shop the sales, save yourself money, and avoid the crowds, NOW that is is a win,win proposition!
6. Prep the day before:
Even if you have to cook some items on the day the meal is served, you can save yourself time by prepping ahead of time, items such as onions,mushrooms,celery, olives,and sweet potatoes. Get them all cut up, and place them in sealed containers in the fridge and they will be all ready for the next day.
7. Keep it Simple:
Everybody loves a good meal, but don’t plan more than you can honestly do. Nobody wants a stressed out hostess, that never shows her face out of the kitchen all day long on a holiday. So when planning your menu, keep it realistic, balance things that can be made ahead of time, with things you will make on the day of the feast.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help:
If you need help ask, nobody expects you to be superwoman, and your whole future is not resting on this meal, or whether you can do it all yourself. So be realistic, most people do not mind lending a helping hand, and in fact a lot of people love the socialization that happens when cooking with another person.
Most of all, enjoy yourself, holidays with family don’t last forever, and should be cherished, not stressed over.
From my Family to yours, wishing you a wonderful and blessed holiday season.
About The Author: Patty Getz is the owner, and editor, of Totally Frugal and loves to spend her time with family, in the kitchen, and teaching others, how to have a more fullfilling life. http://www.totallyfrugal.com
What about you, what are some of your favorite holiday meal planning tips? Please feel free to leave a comment to share with everyone!