Ashley’s Mom Monday: Tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — First thing you need to do for a stress-free Thanksgiving holiday is make your guest list, then set your menu according to how many people you plan on having. This will help to make sure you have enough food and it will also cut down on having too much, which will ultimately save you some money.

So, how much food do you really need to feed everyone? Let’s assume we are feeding about 10 people.

“You’ll need a good 5-10 lb. turkey,” General Manager of Cracker Barrel Becca Anderson said. “I would say definitely about five cans of green beans. You’ll need about five pounds of potatoes, five pounds of sweet potatoes, don’t forget the bread. You gotta throw your bread in there, whether it’s going to be rolls, biscuits, corn bread. Once you get that list, check it twice for sure.”

A pro-tip is to shop early. If you’re going to the grocery store, keep this in mind! If you wait, they may not have what you need.

Do you find that there is one food that people forget? They get to Thanksgiving and they say ‘oh no I forgot the ______”?

“Honestly, dressing. We get more calls on Thanksgiving Day and that’s what they forget,” Anderson said. “The dressing. They burn it, the ratio is off or it doesn’t taste right.”

Now that the food is checked off the list, it is time to set the table.

“In my opinion, it’s better to start a week early, at least a couple of days, so you can set it all out,” Food Stylist Mary Clayton Carl Jones said. “See what you need and also you can come up with a theme if you want to, which is easier to wrap everything around that.”

Another great piece of advice when prepping is to use Post-it notes.

“Post-its are your best friend,” Jones said. “Just lay them all out on your dining room table or your kitchen and put the Post-it notes in the vessel you want to use. Just make sure it fits so you won’t be stressed out that day.”

For busy families out there who are looking for something even more convenient, places like Cracker Barrel or Whole Foods will have ready-made meals to make your Thanksgiving Day even more stress-free. Make sure to check with your local restaurants to see if they will have Thanksgiving Day meals available.

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