Thursday 4 December 2014

Christmas Meal Plan and Shopping List

Every year I do A LOT of cooking over Christmas. I enjoy spending time in my kitchen and I love cooking for all my nearest and dearest. This year I will be cooking over 3 days for a huge bunch of people.

Obviously I still want to enjoy Christmas myself, I don't want to be stressing and panicking and cooking all day. For this, I need a meal plan, with tried and tested recipes that have worked for me time and again.

I do this by having the same plan, year after year - It gets adjusted, obviously, but the rough outline is the same. At the beginning of December each year I check the plan and start doing the preparation. This year I will be cooking for 27 people on one day, the most I have ever done before was 22. But its all fine, because I have my 'Plan'

First I have a print-out of my 'Christmas Menu Plan' which has the plan for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and extra sweets and treats. I don't have a Boxing Day menu plan; for us it is more of the same but much bigger, and requires a bit of separate planning, but the same shopping list.

Which brings me to my 'Big Christmas Shopping List' 
This is a master shopping list of what I need, it includes a check-list of spices that might already be in my pantry.  To spread the cost of the food (we try to live on a budget of £50 a week) I have split the list into 4 sections based on when I need to buy things:
  • In Advance
  • 2 Weeks To Go
  • A Week To Go
  • A few Days To Go

The Christmas groceries are bought alongside our regular shopping and set aside in a special labelled box at the back of the pantry, which saves anything from accidentally getting used up in the interim.

So with these 2 simple lists I already have control of my menu and my spending, which makes the whole process much more enjoyable.

Have you got your Christmas meal plan and shopping list together yet? Have you any suggestions to make that might help me with mine? Leave a comment below.

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