The holiday season is undeniably one of the busiest times of year. For those of us in the kitchen, new recipes, dietary restrictions, and planning can sometimes get the best of us, leaving you feeling burnt out and unable to enjoy the gorgeous spread you have created.
Thanksgiving is still about a month away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start preparing to avoid the holiday burn out. With the help of a few, simple tips you can actually enjoy your feast—just as much as your guests will.
Tip #1: Print out a blank November calendar (like the one linked here) to keep you organized and on-track.
Adding to-dos to your current calendar will only make your list of tasks seem more overwhelming! Instead, start fresh with a blank month to plan out your special dinner. Seeing everything spread across 24 days will lighten the load mentally and give you a chance to strategize your shopping trips and game plan in advance.
Tip #2: Shop early for non-perishables and hearty vegetables.
Now that you have your Thanksgiving calendar ready for action, plan out weeks where you can grab a few of the feast day essentials with your regular groceries. Frozen items and hearty vegetables like squash and potatoes, can all be bought a week or two ahead of time. This will save you from having to pick through the sparse week-of-thanksgiving shelves or shelling out a lot of cash right before the big day.
Check out this handy list for some ideas.
Tip #4: Clean out your fridge.
This tip offers double the help! Cleaning out your fridge frees up precious space for those make-ahead dishes and leftovers. It also lets you know what ingredients you already have: like bouillon, frozen vegetables, and canned goods, plus those ingredients you need but probably don’t think to regularly restock: spices, noodles, and sugar/flour, etc.
Bonus tip: If you need to make room in your fridge (but don’t necessarily want to toss some items away permanently) fill up a cooler with ice and use it as temporary cold storage.
Tip #5: Make a few dishes ahead of time and stick them in the freezer.
There are actually a lot of dishes that can be frozen that aren’t turkey. Many soups, gravies, sauces and dinner rolls can be made a day or two ahead and survive a short stay in your freezer. Even casseroles can be made a day before and put in the fridge overnight, simply take them out and heat them back up the following day. So easy!
Tip #6: Take advantage of things that will make your life easier.
Don’t be afraid to rely on a little extra help. If you have an extra busy life, things like food delivery services and premade dishes aren’t a sign of weakness! If you know you won’t have time to pick up fresh ingredients or make that special dish the week of, pre-order them using your favorite food courier and save yourself some time.
Here’s a list of food delivery websites that have specific Thanksgiving deals.
Tip #7: Stock up on decorations after Halloween.
Now we’re not saying you need to have skulls and jack-o-lanterns on your harvest table. But, a lot of the Halloween decorations that go on sale after the 31st can easily double as fall themed. You can get great deals on festive centerpiece items or disposable dishes and cutlery. Additionally, the fresh decorations like pumpkins and gourds only deteriorate in quality the further into November you wait to get them—so pick them up now.
Check out this curated list of over 1,000+ festive table settings on Pinterest.
Let us know how you are preparing for Thanksgiving by reaching out to us on the social media channels below!