• Colleen Lamb McDonnell

Thanksgiving week prep!

With Thanksgiving arriving this week, we are all preparing for the FEASTING holiday that launches the winter holiday season.

Here are 3 tips to help you during the Thanksgiving crunch time.

1. Organize your meal! Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or bringing side dishes to share, try using an on-line meal organizer to make the planning, shopping, and cooking so much easier and efficient. The app I use and love is Plan to Eat. (It is an app, or you can also use it from your desktop). You can sign up here and get a free 30 day trail, and then take advantage of their yearly Black Friday sale and get a 1-year subscription for half price if you like it. (Disclosure, I do get a small referral fee for anyone who does join, but I would recommend this app even if I didn't!)

So what's so great about Plan to Eat? With Plan to Eat, I can clip recipes right from the web, or manually enter and save my family recipes. I can then select recipes to include on my meal planning calendar and with a click of a button I have a shopping list.

Did you hear that? A shopping list! This is the part of menu planning that I DESPISE. (Ok, that and grocery shopping but fortunately, if I have a list, I have a husband willing to endure the grocery shopping hell. If you don't have someone to delegate to, PeaPod is another option to avoid grocery shopping and order your groceries on-line).

On Saturday night, my husband and I sat down and planned our Thanksgiving menu. With a little bit of clipping favorite online recipes and entering my favorite broccoli casserole recipe, we created a meal plan and POOF! we had a shopping list:

I could have checked the boxes online of what items I already had and had a smaller list, but the printer was being wonky, so I just used the list to walk around the kitchen and mark off what we didn't need. And then added a few more items that we needed to get through the week. That list was a huge time saver!

2. Double up! With the groceries purchased, I started cooking. With the recipes on my Plan to Eat meal planner, it was easy to just click on the recipe I needed. One of my favorite dishes over the holidays is the previously mentioned broccoli casserole. While I have Velvetta in the house that isn't a dried out brick from someone putting it away open, I doubled this recipe so that I have it ready to go in my freezer for Christmas dinner. I'll do the cracker topping when I reheat it. (There is a little less than double here, my daughter couldn't walk by without having a bowl).

Find something your making this week that you can double and freeze to take to a holiday party or to use for entertaining during the season. You save money by not potentially wasting ingredients (In my case, Velvetta's brick fate) and save time by not cleaning your kitchen twice or cooking twice!

3. Delegate. If you take a moment to sit down (I know I just lost a few people here----who has time to sit down, it's Thanksgiving week!) and make a list of what you need to do before traveling for the holiday or hosting it makes it much easier to consider ways to can delegate tasks. If you have a spouse or kids at home, delegate grocery shopping, cleaning, or packing. If you have guests coming, accept their offers to bring side dishes. If you can't delegate a task to a family member, consider outsourcing by hiring a cleaner, buying some pre-made foods, or by having your groceries delivered.

What will YOU be doing to have a more organized Thanksgiving this year? Share on my Facebook page here!

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Organizing!



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Harrisburg, PA  USA

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