Mastering the planning of your holiday dinner can be done with research and having plenty of time to plan. Our budgeting tips, menu planning tips, best recipes, techniques, and tricks might be your guide to successfully planning your next dinner party. The focus of this article would not be complete without ideas on cookware and bakeware to create a delicious meal.
With some planning and strategizing, you can still make an impressive and satisfying holiday dinner meal on a small budget.
All holiday dinners have the same essential elements and mainly consist of a 5-course meal: Appetizers or hors d’oeuvre, salad or side dishes, main course, and dessert.
Another aspect of planning the menu is getting ideas on table linen, utensils, cake/dessert stand, glass (wine/water), and dinnerware.
We have broken down the essentials for a holiday dinner. Let us start with creating a food menu.
Create a menu
The thought process to creating your holiday menu should be centered around minimizing stress, cost-effectiveness, and food allergies. You are creating the menu with the time required for food shopping, food preparation, and cooking.
- Research recipes using the same ingredients, seasoning, and spices.
- Incorporate at least one crockpot recipe to same on time.
- Plan dishes you can make ahead of time. Plan also for leftovers.
- Choose recipes that include ingredients you can easily find at your local supermarket and you can afford.
- Be mindful of food allergies.
Plan your meals to stay within your budget
Budgeting is a huge factor in meal planning. By following these steps, you will be able to stay within your budget.
- Make a list of everything you will need to buy
- Inventory is key. Look in your pantry, refrigerator, freezer, cupboards and anywhere else you store food.
- Look at the weekly supermarket flyers and search for coupons online. Take a look also at the monthly booklet sent by Costco and BJs if you do have the membership.
- Start shopping early for non-perishable items that are on sale.
Let’s dive into a few recipes ideas to get you started with your menu
Holiday dinners do not have to be complicated where you have to stick to a type of meat or side dish to make. If you cannot afford to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving or ham for Christmas, there are other types of meat and poultry to choose. How about seafood?
It is good to keep up with traditions, but sometimes we have to deal with reality. Spending time with family and good friends building stronger relationships is better than going over budget. Let us start having a practical stress-free lifestyle.
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Extract recipes: it is always a good idea to make your extract if you can, as this will help you save money. Check our extract recipes here.
Condiment Recipes: several condiments can help you add more flavors to your dishes. For example, our cured pork or endui recipe is perfect for rice dishes, soups, beans, and peas purees. Do not forget to check out our condiment category for more recipes.
- HOW TO MAKE BLACK MUSHROOM RICE (RIZ DJON-DJON)
- THE BEST BAKED MACARONI AND CHEESE RECIPE
- QUICK AND DELICIOUS PARMESAN VEGGIE QUICHE
- ROASTED TURKEY DRUMSTICKS
- ROASTED ZUCCHINI, BABY BELLA MUSHROOM WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
- NO-BAKE STRAWBERRY OREO CHEESECAKE
- CARIBBEAN HAM
- DUCK WITH ORANGE SAUCE OR CANARD A L’ORANGE
- ROASTED FRESH BONE-IN HAM
- HOW TO MAKE THE MOST FLAVORFUL AND DELICIOUS COCONUT CAKE
- AN EASY AND SIMPLE KALE AU GRATIN RECIPE
- THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE YOU WILL EVER MAKE
Plan for table decoration, dinnerware, pots and pans ahead of time
Food is always the priority for a holiday dinner. After creating a menu then we start panicking about decor, table decoration, dinnerware, etc.
Upon planning your next dinner meal, you might realize that it is time to purchase most of what you need online. Amazon is one of the best online stores not only to shop online but also to compare prices. Take a leap of faith and start browsing. Sometimes online shopping has better bargains than in-store shopping.
Table Decoration ideas: Check our Amazon link for ideas on how to make your table look stunning.
Table Linens ideas: it is always good to have table linens that match your diner theme. Check out this Amazon link.
Dinnerware ideas: it is always a great idea to have a beautiful formal dinnerware set. Check out this Amazon link.
Pot and Pans you might need: pots and pans are essentials to a working kitchen. Whether you are cooking for a small or large crowd having the correct sizes and shapes, check out this link.
Bakeware you might need: Same as pots and pans, you always need to make sure you have the right bakeware and baking dishes; you need to create those delicious desserts and gratins.
Hostess sets are essentials: for now reason or another, on many occasions, hostess sets are the last things we think about when thinking about the table. Let us not forget a carving fork and knife set.
Have fun planning and happy cooking!