Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to be organized, which means deciding what you’re going to serve and stocking up on the necessary supplies in advance. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to sit back and enjoy the festivities. Whether you’re hosting for the first time or are an old hand, here are some tips that will help your meal go more smoothly:
1. Make a list.
2. Shop early. If possible, do all your grocery shopping before Saturday. That way, if anything is forgotten, it’s not too late to run out and buy it. On the other hand, if everything is well in hand, there’s no need to worry about grocery lists or running out of something at the last minute.
3. Set aside time for cooking ahead of time. Don’t try to do everything in one day; instead set aside some time to make things like pies or breads before Thanksgiving morning. If you’re making gravy from scratch, prepare it well in advance; this will give the flavors plenty of time to blend together properly.
4. Choose recipes that are simple but tasty. Not only will this save time on preparation, but it will also help reduce stress since there won’t be any last minute surprises!
5. Create a realistic budget. Whether you are hosting or attending, having a budget will help you stay within your means. This helps reduce stress and keeps you from spending money that you really don’t have. Make a spreadsheet that shows the amount of each item that you need, divided by how many people you’ll be serving (make sure to include yourself). Once the spreadsheet is complete, don’t stray from it.
6. Make a menu plan. Determining what kind of meal you want to serve ahead of time saves time and helps keep your costs down while still giving everyone an enjoyable meal.