Christmas brings with it a large amount of food, drink and entertaining – it’s inevitable!
It therefore makes sense to do a little planning up front to ensure all things related to food goes smoothly over those few days.
And that’s where this list of Christmas planning tips for your food comes in!
Get it sorted up front and save time and hassle in the long run.
I have covered all sorts of things in this list of tips, so I’m sure there will be something you can try this year – and I hope that your Christmas food and cooking goes really well….
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TIP #1 – PLAN MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
It’s all very good getting lots of lovely food in – but do you know exactly what meals you will need to provide for?
If not, you may be buying things that are wasted, or not buying enough.
Use a planner to write down all the different meals that you will need to cater for over the holidays – and include how many people each meal will be for.
Don’t forget to include normal family meals as well!
If you plan everything ahead of time, then you can start to look at what you need and buy the non perishable foods in the weeks leading up to Christmas instead of at the last minute. (My Christmas planner has lots of printables that can help – including meal plans and shopping list – take a look HERE if you want a little helping hand…)
TIP #2 – ASK PEOPLE TO HELP
If you are having people over for a meal, hosting a party, or any other entertaining – then consider asking people to help with some of the food.
At this time of year especially, everyone is more than happy to get involved – so you can lessen your workload by getting people to bring something like a pudding, drinks, a starter, nibbles etc…
TIP #3 – CONSIDER A BUFFET RATHER THAN SIT DOWN MEAL
Buffet style food is perfect for this time of year – and people are more than happy to grab what they want. It is also perfect for Christmas when there are lots of people inevitably coming over.
This enables you to use some leftovers, and to ask people to bring some plates of food as well. Perfect!
TIP #4 – THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
If you eat turkey on Christmas Day but actually don’t really like it – why not try something new instead?.
Create your own traditions and enjoy things more.
This also works well if you don’t like (or can’t) cook something very well. Why stress yourself out?
TIP #5 – CHECK FOR ALLERGIES
If you have any guests for food at all then always ask ahead of time whether they have allergies or intolerances at all.
This will help you to cater properly, and not get stressed nearer the time with what to cook. You can also save time by finding things that everyone can eat so you don’t end up cooking more than one meal.
TIP #6 – CROWNS WORK JUST AS WELL AS WHOLE TURKEYS
I always now cook a turkey crown rather than a whole turkey.
It’s easier, quicker, and there is more meat to have over the following days.
TIP #7 – DON’T GO OVERBOARD
Christmas in reality is only a few days – but we all seem to stock up as if it’s the end of the world….
Planning your meals up front will help you to see where you can get by with leftovers for example. You don’t need to buy something new for every meal…
TIP #8 – DON’T GO AWAY FROM TRIED AND TESTED
Avoid extra stress when you have people over by only cooking things that you have cooked before.
Now isn’t probably the time to learn a new culinary showstopper! That way you will enjoy the holidays that little bit more…
TIP #9 – PREP FOR CHRISTMAS DAY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
A lot of us hate to be away from the fun of Christmas Day when it comes to preparing the dinner.
As such, I always advocate prepping ahead of time.
Why not get the family helping peel and prep veg on Christmas Eve, or (even better) buy pre prepared food if you can afford to – it’s Christmas and you deserve a little time off!
TIP #10 – DISPOSABLE FOIL TRAYS ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
I stock up on disposable baking trays for Christmas because you can just cook in them and then get rid of them.
No soaking trays, scrubbing or washing up – it’s like a little present to yourself!
TIP #11 – MAKE IT A FAMILY EVENT
Can you get the family involved in the food and cooking?
Whether it be prep or actually getting older kids and partners to cook a whole meal – you don’t have to do it all yourself while everyone else has fun…
TIP #12 – WRITE A TIMELINE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
If you know what time you want to eat, then you can work backwards to know when to put the meat in and when to do things.
This will help you prevent needing the oven for too many things at once, and gives you a guide as to when you will be busy and when you will be free on the day.
TIP #13 – GET FAVOURITE FOOD FOR PEOPLE
If you know what each person in your family loves to eat – try and incorporate these into the Christmas menu at some point.
This is a lovely way to make everyone smile – and it gives them a treat!
It could be as easy as having a different pudding each night, or favourite snacks/treats dotted around the house (something my mum has always done at Christmas!)
TIP #14 – FOOD CAN BE A CRAFT!
If your kids love to make things, why not get them to make some of the food over Christmas?
Things like mince pies, cookies, decorating the cake etc… can all be made pretty easily – and will be all the more special for them having made them themselves…
TIP #15 – BUY RATHER THAN HOMEMADE
If you don’t like cooking, or haven’t got the time – don’t feel bad at all.
Let the supermarkets / Christmas fairs / local shops do the work instead!
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Which of these Christmas planning tips for your food do you already do, and which will you try this year?
I’d love to know – so please leave a comment below…. – Thanks in advance x