This post is sponsored by Walmart Online Grocery. The ideas and opinions are mine alone.
I don’t mean to incite panic, but we’re less than a week away from Thanksgiving. How did that happen?!
As can be the case with holidays, we can get so caught up in planning that we’re so stressed by the time the holiday comes around that it can be hard to even enjoy it. Can you relate?
I remember the first time I thought about hosting Thanksgiving and was looking for some tips on the internet. I found a checklist for hosting Thanksgiving that started months out. Months. I mean are we planning a holiday gathering or a wedding here?
Well don’t fret. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving next week and you haven’t even planned a lick, it’s going to be ok. In fact with these 10 Thanksgiving hacks it’s going to be more than ok, it will be wonderful!
10 Simple Steps for Hosting Thanksgiving Without Stress!
1. Decide on Your Menu
And don’t be ashamed to buy some pre-made food and/or dessert if you want to! Also don’t be afraid to experiment with non-traditional versions of Thanksgiving favorites (like this Sausage Cornbread Stuffing).
2. Create your Shopping List
Don’t forget to check your pantry to make sure you have the staples your recipes call for. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the store for a recipe and missed buying an herb or spice because I assumed I had it in the pantry. As far as quantity of food, this chart from Simplemost is very helpful to figure out how much you should buy per person. When in doubt, it’s better to have too much than not enough, everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers! Speaking of leftovers, remember to add some to-go containers to send home with guests!
3. Shop For Groceries Online
Grocery shopping for a holiday meal takes awhile. A long while. Not only because of the quantity of food but because everyone else is there doing the same thing. You guys. Now that I’ve experienced Walmart Online Grocery Pickup I can’t imagine going to the grocery store and shopping myself again, especially for a holiday. Have you tried it? Did you know this existed? My mind is blown. My standard grocery trip takes about an hour. Shopping for the same size list on Walmart Grocery took exactly 6 minutes (and that was for my first time because I was checking things out). It takes 8 minutes to get to my Walmart and it took 5 minutes to pick it up. Where has this been all my life?!
You can shop by category or you can just plow down your list and enter the items into the search bar and it quickly pulls them up. When I went to check out it even reminded me of a couple of staples that I had forgotten about. Pick the day and time you want to pick up and your “personal shopper” has your order ready for you when you arrive. When I got out of the car to put the groceries in the trunk my personal shopper shooed me (in a very nice way!) back into my car and said she would be loading the groceries for me. Can you imagine how amazing this will be on days like today (yes, it’s snowing in Ohio)?
One of the biggest hesitations I had in doing online grocery shopping is how particular I am about my produce. Well Walmart guarantees that the items they select for you are the absolute freshest or they will give you your money back. Gone are my days of picking up every apple in the bin!
The other hesitation I had was I didn’t want to spend any extra money on groceries than what we already do. Amazingly this service is 100% free, but then I thought maybe the grocery prices were higher, but nope not that either. No fees and the same prices in store, in fact if you want them to, they will even substitute lower priced items for what you order if it costs more.
4. Enlist help!
Don’t feel like you have to be the hero of hosting Thanksgiving! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, before during and after.
5. Early Prep for the Win!
Prep as much as you can the day(s) before. A lot of Thanksgiving food can be made ahead of time (like these amazing crockpot Thanksgiving recipes) and sauces can easily be frozen and warmed up the day of. Run the dishwasher, set the table and get our your serving dishes, pans, trivets and any appliances you will need the day/night before.
6. No Vacancy
Oven real estate is a valuable commodity. Utilize crock pots, thermoses, electric griddles and toaster ovens to keep food warm. If you need extra of any of these things, request to borrow them from your guests or even neighbors if you need them ahead of time.
7. Find Simple Ways to Glam Up Your Thanksgiving Table
8. Plan, Plan, Plan the Timing.
And plan the timing. Start with the time you’d like to eat and work backwards to know what time each dish needs to get started. This Thanksgiving Timed Right guide from All Recipes is a great cheat sheet!
9. Set up Potluck Style Meal Serving (and Packing)
Set up where each dish will go in the potluck assembly line the night before and mark with a post-it note. If you have a large group, if possible set up the food in an area that people can go through the line on both sides. Use this same idea for the guests that would like leftovers. Hand off the containers and let them help themselves.
10. Remember, it’s Thanksgiving, not Stressgiving
Most importantly, don’t be a perfectionist. Enjoy your friends and family and reflect on what your grateful for. Maybe even start a new tradition!
Ok, deep breaths. Are you feeling better about hosting Thanksgiving? 🙂 Check to see if Walmart Online Grocery is available in your area here. You will be hooked… for Thanksgiving and beyond.