A major part of the holidays is the food. As you’re planning the next few weeks of your holiday season, you’ll want to start mapping out any special meals that you’ll be cooking over this period. A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to saving money and sanity during this busy time of year. We’ve put together some helpful tips to streamline your holiday meal-planning process.
5 Tips for Timesaving and Efficient Holiday Meal Prep
- Shop early. Instead of shopping the last few days prior to your holiday meal, write a list of the items you’ll need, and start buying ingredients ahead of time. This method is helpful in numerous ways. The list will help ensure you don’t forget something, so you can avoid any last-minute scrambles, and if your budget is limited, getting a little bit at a time can ease the pressure.
- Shop in bulk. During the holiday season, you may be preparing for multiple special meals or serving quite a few dinner guests. Buying in bulk can help you get the volume you need while saving money. If you need to buy large quantities of items, Sam’s Club can be your holiday go-to.
- Don’t forget to thaw. If you’ll be making a turkey or any frozen meat, be sure to think ahead and thaw the food properly. It’s recommended that you thaw at least 24 hours prior in the refrigerator. You can also thaw using cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to keep it cool. If you’re cooking the meat right away, you can thaw it in the microwave. It is not recommended that you thaw meat by simply leaving it out on the countertop, as the room temperature can breed dangerous bacteria.
- Cook ahead. There’s no need to spend the holiday toiling in the kitchen. Many foods, especially baked items and side dishes, can be prepared ahead of time and stored until the big day. You can even prepare turkey and ham ahead of time and slice it for easy serving on the big day. Cooking beforehand can help you feel calm on the day of the dinner. It will also allow you to enjoy time with family and friends instead of spending the entire day in the kitchen.
- Prep cookware, serving ware, and silverware. So far, we’ve focused on food in relation to holiday meal prep, but we shouldn’t overlook the other items needed to make your dinner a success. You’ll want to make sure you have the proper cookware, serving ware, dishes, and silverware. You should also ensure that all items are clean and ready to be used at a moment’s notice. If you have silverware or metal serving platters, make sure to shine them up ahead of time.
FreeShipping.com Will Keep Your Holiday Feast Frugal and Festive
We hope you’ve found these holiday meal preparation tips to be useful. As with any big event, the more you can do in advance, the better the end result will be. As you’re preparing for your holiday meal, Sam’s Club can be your one-stop shop to get all the items you’ll require, including fresh and frozen food, non-perishable foods, bakery items, serving supplies, china, home décor, and much more. You’ll save yourself some time and sanity by shopping online and having your items delivered to your doorstep. You’ll also save money by getting wholesale prices. And because Sam’s Club is a registered retailer with FreeShipping.com, you’ll earn additional savings.
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How many holiday meals will you be serving over the next few weeks? How many guests will be dining at your home?