It’s no secret that one of the happiest times of the year also has a reputation for being one of the most expensive times of the year. If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, you know better than anyone that it doesn’t take long for your grocery shopping bill to get out of hand if not planned for carefully.
Considering how many mouths you’re responsible for feeding, it can be difficult to gauge just exactly what you’ll need and what you won’t. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way with just a little bit of careful planning.
Follow these basic shopping tips to ensure that you don’t overspend or underspend while still making sure that there’s enough to go around!
As the cornerstone of every great Thanksgiving meal, it’s important that special consideration is made for the turkey. As a general rule of thumb, most people should expect to purchase about 1 lb. of uncooked turkey per person that they plan to serve. Even if some people eat more or some eat less, this rule is a great way to ensure that everyone gets their fill.
For many people, sides are one of the greatest highlights of a great Thanksgiving meal. Therefore, it’s important to buy adequate amounts of the right sides to keep your guests happy and coming back for seconds.
For vegetable sides, plan to buy enough to serve about 4 oz. of vegetables for each guest and for grains, 2 oz. per guest. For potatoes and sweet potatoes, anticipate one per guest, and for salads, figure about six servings per each head of lettuce. When it comes to sides, it doesn’t hurt to have just a little extra of everything to make sure all of your guests are satisfied.
This one is a pretty easy one to plan for. Whether they are homemade or store-bought, most pies will serve about six to eight people. That being said, this rule is not absolute as it’s always a good idea to give your guests a variety of flavor options to choose from.
Who doesn’t love some good Thanksgiving leftovers? On many occasions, even with careful planning, it’s hard to avoid having a surplus of food even after everyone has had enough. Knowing how to manage these leftovers, however, is essential for ensuring that none of your hard work or spending goes to waste. As easy and as tempting as it may be to simply wrap everything in foil and toss it in the fridge, it’s important to properly prep and store your leftovers to deter the growth of bacteria and ensure that you get to enjoy that tasty turkey sandwich the next day.
First, break down the larger parts of the meal such as the turkey or the ham by removing all of the meat off of the bones. After everything is broken down, separate the food into either shallow, air-tight containers or plastic quart bags. Plastic quart bags are the best option when it comes to dividing the food up between your guests. Once everything is separated and brought back down to room temperature, store in your fridge or a cooler for your guests. Is your fridge or cooler overflowing? Before tossing anything out, make sure to put as much of a portion as possible into your freezer to preserve and enjoy for even longer!
We all know that it’s way too easy to overspend during the holiday season. Take the time to consider exactly what you’ll need, adequately plan for the needs of your guests, and your wallet will thank you!