Since last Thanksgiving, thousands of people have downloaded my Thanksgiving Menu and Meal Prep Planner. It really is the simplest way to prepare and get organized for Thanksgiving. Since I’ve been married 10 years ago, most Thanksgivings have been hosted at my house. This is the sheet I use, and once you use it, you will want to every single year and for other prep-heavy Holiday or event meal!
I’ve decided to give the planner a little facelift.
About Each Section of the Planner
Menu Section – Plan a well-rounded menu of all the traditional favorites or fun new recipes. If you share in the work with family or friends, keep track of who is bringing what dish. Even if you are all happily smooshed together in one house, it helps to make assignments to anyone willing to help. Let people have ownership of their meal item! Before you shop for the perishable items within a few days before, do an ingredient check for all your dishes. Mark that column after you’ve checked off each dish. And this might feel like a no-brainer, but it happens every time — you prepare something, but forget to actually put it on the table or in the buffet. Mark each item after you actually bring it out, before you call everyone to the table.
Cooking Schedule – Plan when you need to prep the different things and start cooking each dish. Put in the time you’d like to eat and then work backwards. Give yourself buffer time with everything. It is easier to keep something warm than to make it all cook extra fast. Also, it is important to note while you go through each recipe for the ingredients which recipes need to be started the night before or what you’d like to complete entirely the night before.
Grocery List – I make a big shopping trip way ahead of time for everything that will last, then come back 1-2 days ahead for perishables or last minute things. I know it is crazy going to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving, which is why it is nice to only need a few items. I try to smile and give the crazy shoppers the benefit of the doubt on these crazy days. Maybe I’ll slip some extra copies of the planner into my purse and hand them out to anyone who has that deer in the headlight stare going on. We’ve got to help each other out! Ha!
Now all this goodness can be yours. Download the Thanksgiving Meal Planner PDF right HERE. This planner is for personal use and is not to be distributed anywhere else or on any other website.
A few years ago I shared our personal Thanksgiving Menu with a few recipes HERE.
If you have any Thanksgiving Meal tips, please share in the comments. Imagine if we pooled all of our collective sanity-saving tips, we could help a lot of people! Just for fun, here is one of mine:
Now it is your turn to share!