5 Tips to Keeping Thanksgiving a Stress-Free Zone
Thanksgiving can be a real stressful time of the year. Between hosting, cooking, and trying to grab a hold of extended family, it can leave you restless and miserable. Of all the things that should be happening during this season, feeling this way should not be one of them.
I'm sure you can say that you have a handful of things to be thankful for - family, wealth, health, etc. Let us give you 5 tips to help keep your Thanksgiving as stress free as possible:
1. Prepare a budget
After Thanksgiving, there's usually an immediate transition into Christmas preparation. Thus, budgeting for Thanksgiving is super important! Planning cannot begin without first giving yourself a budget for how much you want to spend on food, decorations, invites, etc. Too much spending can cost you in the long run. In that event, gobble down on those savings and look into couponing or becoming a store member for bonus discounts. Most importantly, It's all about quality rather than quantity. You won't need 10 moderately okay side dishes if you have 2 staggering side dishes at hand. Trim the menu for more savings.
2. Have a Game Plan
Make sure that you have an idea of who all will be attending. If you have family or friends coming from out of town, do you need to make accommodations for their stay? A simple call here and there can get that fixed up. In addition, let us not forget that this is also the season for abundant leftovers, so you would need to make accommodations for the meals that need storage after Thanksgiving. This would be a good time to accomplish a bit of your spring cleaning for the fall. Empty out any old food items that have been pushed to the back of the fridge and pay tribute to all those forgotten items that have surpassed their expiration date for months. You'll need that extra space for storage and thankfully, there are also an abundant number of recipes that you can make with Thanksgiving leftovers so this food won't go forgotten like that old package of salami.
3. Be Organized
With so many food items, being organized is important. Generally with Thanksgiving meals, you would only use the herbs, spices and several other ingredients just once a year, so you'll need to raid through cabinets to try to find what you need for your recipes. If done at the last minute, this can be very frustrating and time consuming. Instead, begin looking for ingredients and sorting out the recipes you plan on using in advance and set them aside so they're ready to go when needed. Which spices have you stored away in your cabinet for the past couple of years and which ones should you probably buy again? This will help in starting up a list of items you need to purchase when you go grocery shopping. You can begin buying non-perishable items that will be needed for cooking a week in advance instead of getting it all at once. On your second trip to the grocery store, get the items that have a time-slot on consumption like your fresh fruits. Proper planning will also help in minimizing those multiple small but time consuming trips to the grocery stores that are usually packed and busy during festive seasons like Thanksgiving.
4. Prepare Side Dishes Early
So many dishes, so little time! At least, that's what it always feels like doesn't it? To refrain from trying to find time to cook everything all in one day, remember that it's completely okay to cook or prep certain dishes before the big day. Too many times we run into the problem of having so many dishes but only one stove. To anticipate this problem from occurring, get started a day or two in advance. Find recipes that can be made and stored away and reheated for when you need them – i.e. casseroles, veggies, gravy, potatoes, etc. People won't be able to tell the difference! But if you're still worried about the freshness then feel free to outsource dishes. You never know if someone else's dish is your new favorite.
5. Manage your Time Wisely
So, obviously if you haven't already noticed, there are a lot of things that need to get done this Thanksgiving so knowing how to wisely manage time is essential. Look at the dishes that will take longest to cook (like the turkey) and begin working backwards. If it takes you about 6 hours to cook the turkey but you promised guests food by 6 p.m. then you would need to put it in by 12 p.m. but keep in mind that this is just the turkey, so if anything else needs cooking then block off time slots to help. Make a note of it on your phone and don't be ashamed of using Post-It notes because with so many items, it can be very beneficial for friendly reminders.
Whichever way you decide to celebrate your Thanksgiving, just make sure that you keep it as STRESS FREE and fun as you possibly can. Be thankful for the things you have in life and remember that A-MAX Auto Insurance wishes you and your family the very best during this season. Happy Thanksgiving!