Does the thought of meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking stress you out? If so, you are not alone. There are several helpful tips we have for you to help put those comforting holiday meals on the table with minimal effort required.
Plan Ahead: What sounds good on the menu this week? Write down each dish, the ingredients you need, and the date it needs to be prepared by. Does your family want to switch up the meal lineup on you at the last minute after you have already gotten everything you need? Tell them you will add it to the menu for next week or suggest they help you out and run to the store themselves.
Consider Local Services: There are grocery delivery services or even meal preparation services in many areas now. In this busy time of the year, is this something you can take advantage of to lessen your stress and save some time?
Make it Ahead of Time: There are a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared and stored away several days before they make it to the dinner table. If you know you are going to have a busy week next week, make a meal or two ahead of time. Then, all you have to do is pull it out of your fridge or freezer, heat it up, and presto, instant deliciousness. If you’re planning for a big event or will be entertaining, see which items you can do ahead and spread the work out over several days to ensure it all gets done.
Take the Easy Way Out: Use one of the afore-mentioned services, give in to take-out for a night or two, say “yes” to a guest who offers to bring something when they RSVP to your gathering, induldge the kids (and the kid in you) with breakfast for dinner one night (usually a simpler meal than dinner), open a can of soup and make a simple salad and call that good. You get the idea. Keep it simple, ask for help, relax your standards, if not forever, at least during this busy time of the year.
We wish you a belly full of great meals this holiday season without the hassle!
P.S. Looking for a year-round system for simplifying meal planning? Check out our Meal Planning Made Easy system – for less than the cost of ordering pizza, you can have downloadable templates to help you with your weekly meal planning and grocery shopping.