If you are like me, you are already thinking about the big dinners that are ahead for the holidays. Thoughts are running around in your head about who will be at your table, what you will serve up, and how you can surprise your guests with a new fabulous treat or two. Or maybe you aren’t hosting the big meal this year but are helping provide portions of a meal and taking things for other special gatherings. No matter what your scenario, the most important thing you can do right now is to get your head around how much all of this will cost!
So are you prepared? Maybe you are way ahead of it and you have already started stocking up with certain items that are used over and over again for holiday cooking. Items like sugar, flour, nuts, butter, and other basics often start to go on sale weeks ahead of time. Don’t forget you may need extras to prepare items for work or other get-togethers as well.
Today is a good day to get started planning and preparing. Remember that all of your resources are valuable when it comes to the holidays. Your energy, time, money and health are all at stake. Managing all of this with early preparation and planning may be your lifesaver when the big days come.
Here are a few tips to reduce the costs and spread all of your resources across the next few weeks:
-Create and write down your meal plans – be very specific
-List every ingredient you will need – check your pantry so you don’t over or under buy
-Consider asking others to participate by bringing their favorite dishes – everyone likes to help and show off the best work they do in the kitchen
-Clip coupons, watch grocery circulars like a hawk, consider big box shopping for items that warrant that approach, use market apps that give you more savings at checkout
-Make and freeze dishes or treats early where possible.
Most of all, remember that holidays are for love and holding close those dear to us. Meals and gatherings come and go pretty quickly. But the fellowship we share with our loved ones last forever in our minds and hearts – let’s all make this a holiday worthy of this value.