Now that Halloween is over, all people can think about is the holiday season. If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, you may feel a lot of pressure and still be in the planning stages of pulling off a perfect meal. To make this holiday as stress-free as possible, do not wait until the last minute to make a to-do list, instead consider planning in advance. Below is a list of five tips to help you plan ahead for this Thanksgiving.
1. Send out invites. If you have not sent out invites already, now is the time to get them in the mail or send them out via email. It is important to have an estimated number of expected guests. You want to make sure you have enough food for everyone and that you don’t waste money on food that no one will eat due to dietary restrictions. Make sure you have your guests RVSP in enough time for you to plan accordingly.
2. Buy your turkey early. If you are planning on buying a Turkey from the supermarket, you should buy it as early as possible. Birds can last up to a year in the freezer. You won’t regret picking out your ideal turkey four weeks in advance rather than waiting until the last minute and buying whatever scraps are left in the supermarket freezer three days before Thanksgiving. For those interested in a fresh turkey, orders should be put in now and you should plan on picking up your turkey no sooner than two days in advance. That's how long a fresh raw turkey can be stored.
3. Plan your menu. Now is the time to think about what you want to see on the dinner table. Are there specific dishes that guests are expecting? Is there a new recipe you want to try? Can you handle all of this by yourself? Make sure your menu is realistic and be vocal if you need help or assign other guests to prepare dishes at home and bring them for the dinner.
4. Clean the refrigerator. This does not mean a simple scrub down, but instead emptying out your fridge. You will more than likely have a ton of leftovers post-Thanksgiving dinner and after spending a bulk of the day cooking, you will not be interested in cleaning out your fridge to make room for leftover turkey. There are still weeks left until Thanksgiving, which means little by little you can start clearing out your fridge to make room for Thanksgiving dishes.
5. Determine your décor. Do you plan on going with a specific theme this Thanksgiving? Do you have enough placemats for everyone? Make sure all your decorations are in order including your table settings such as table linens, utensils, plates, bowls and cups.