Now it is time to share the next part of our Holiday and Christmas planning downloads with you. Yesterday, we shared the budget summary page as well as the gift planning downloads to cover everyone from your immediate family to your co-workers and neighbors and everyone in between!
So today is the Holiday food planning guide. I must be honest and say that for years we have had a very hard time fitting the extra holiday foods and meals into our weekly food budget! As much as we try to make our pantry items or grab those extras in our weekly food budget, we keeping missing the mark. So we finally just decided that we need to have a separate holiday food budget, which is great, fine and much less stress and much more enjoyable.
I still try to fit as much as I can in our weekly budget or fill-in with items we already have on hand, but I don’t stress about it now because we have the budget set aside for it! So this planner that I made helps me to incorporate the parties, events, meals, special occasions and fill-in with food assignments I gave to others as well as the assignments I received. I also include a master shopping list that I can check off as I find and collect those items, whether I got them from the grocery store or from my own pantry.
As suggested on the downloads, I recommend clearing a shelf in your pantry or cupboards to collect and keep special holiday foods. In the past, I would find it very frustrating that I would buy special crackers for a party or whatever, just to find someone has taken and eaten them! So this way you are prepared and not stuck with a massive grocery bill at the last second too!
This can be an expensive season, but it doesn’t have to be. You can have an absolutely FANTASTIC season on a dime!
So today’s downloads are your food planning downloads. There is very little ink required to print them to save money there too.
So let’s get started on sharing today’s downloads so that you can continue to put together your binder!
First, is the different holiday meals or parties that you may be hosting to help you plan out the menu. As an example, this year I am hosting Christmas dinner for ourselves and extended family and guests. This download that I use allows me to plan the whole meal (usually having a couple of dishes per category) and then also allows me to name food assignments (as I don’t make everything) and see it all on one page. You can download as many as you need based on how many meals/parties you are hosting!
You can download the food menu planning page, the summary page, by clicking on the link below! You can then print it to put in your binder or stapled with the other downloads coming to make a full plan!
|<== Download your printable menu planner HERE.|
The second download covers any events/parties/meals that you are attending to help you keep track of dates and food assignments that you have. As an example, we are attending Thanksgiving at my parent’s house. With that, I may not be hosting, but I have food assignments. That would go on this list.
In addition, we already have two Christmas parties on the list that I will be bringing food to and so both of those would also be documented on this download. Again, print off as many as you need!
|<== Download your printable food assignments planner HERE.|
The next page of the food planning section covers the food gift plans, including a section for you to make a quick list of all of the supplies needed to find around your house, or to add to your shopping list (which is the next download). I include all supplies needed, not just ingredients, but holiday plates, bows, holiday baggies, etc. If I don’t write it down, I just forget!
|<== Download your printable food gifts planner HERE.|
The next part to the holiday food planning is for you to keep with you whenever you are out, whenever you are planning your shopping trips, etc. I like to get my list prepared early so that I can keep an eye on prices.
I divide the shopping list into foods for the events I am hosting, foods I am assigned, and food gifts. This also helps me to determine the priority! If I have committed to bringing something to an event/meal, that is the highest priority! Then my own hosted meals and food gifts come in second and third and may change some based on what deals I find!
I will actually plan a faux shopping trip based on prices at my grocery stores now. I take note of the store and the price now and then if it gets better at that store or another store, I am set to get a better deal!
I then note when I have purchased the item(s) so that I don’t overbuy or forget what I bought! This is all separate from my everyday coupon shopping!
Again, print off as many as you need!
Don’t forget to refer to our coupon database HERE in case there are any coupons for the foods you are looking to buy to help lower the cost!
|<== Download your printable holiday foods shopping list HERE.|
So here’s the next additions as you put together your 2012 Holiday and Christmas Planning binder! Keep watching for more downloads each day this week to make your season thrifty, organized and complete!