Getting your holiday food shopping completed and on budget might scare you but with a little planning and preparation it is not as bad as you might think. If you think you might need to order some of your food you will need to do this sooner, it will mean that you have at least taken some action in the right direction.
Knowing the meals that you need to cook and the number of people you are expecting makes planning for the holiday meals a lot easier, adding the odd person isn’t as bad if you have enough staple ingredients in your stock cupboard.
Knowing Your Numbers For Holiday Food
It is a great idea to write down the number of people you are expecting for certain meals and that way you can plan accordingly. Even having rough numbers will ensure that you have enough food for everyone and within your budget too.
It is often more than one meal, it can spread over a few days or you might need to feed for more than one meal during the course of the day. Knowing how many meals that your budget has to provide is a great way in working out the amount of money you will need.
When inviting your guests over, check if there are any dietary requirements as this will help when it comes to planning the food that you need to prepare.
When you have an understanding of the number of meals you need, the number of people who you are expecting you will then need to consider if you have budgeted enough for all the expense.
If I feel that the budget won’t stretch far enough I try and add-on one or two ingredients onto my weekly shopping prior to the event and this reduces the amount I need to stretch my budget, allowing for an extra treat or two.
I am lucky in that I don’t drink alcohol and it means I don’t have any at my home; for this reason I do mention to those who are coming that if they want alcohol, but not for any who are driving, that they must bring their own. This reduces the amount of money that I need to spend and all our friends and families have understood, they have either provided the alcohol they wish to drink or they have the non-alcoholic beverages that I provide.
Planning The Menus
When you are feeding other people it’s important that you look organized, you actually know what you are going to cook. For this reason you need to prepare a menu for the meals, this helps in working out your budget and it gives you a starting point for a plan.
The menus can help show the special items that you need to buy and when you need to get them. Some might need ordering and the local butchers here have started advertising their holiday hampers already. Some items can be purchased ahead of time and these items you should start to collect, while the fresh items you might need to wait until closer to the actual meal.
Making your budget stretch is difficult, but finding ways in which you can reduce the costs and stick with your budget is important. Maybe you could ask your guests to bring the deserts; this will help stretch your money further.
Try checking out if any local supermarkets have any sales or coupons for any item that you need, this will help stretch the money that you have as far as possible.
Therefore, if you are looking to keep to your food budget this holiday season it is important that you start the preparation for this now.