I know it’s not April yet, but Easter will sneak up on us very quickly! Now is the time to start thinking about your plans!
If you are hosting Easter, think about what you would like to include on your menu. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are hosting guests! Even little things like rolls or a side dish can help a TON, especially if your budget is tight.
Here are some tips to help alleviate any stress:
1. Watch sales for discounted items:
· Ham normally goes on sale a few weeks before Easter. Watch stores like Aldi for even cheaper prices. Since it freezes well, try to snag one during an early sale. They do sell out frequently!
· Potatoes and produce. Since potatoes store well in a dark, dry place, you can buy these now. I have noticed Klondike brand goes on sale a lot and they offer coupons here. Other produce to watch would be pineapples, asparagus or green beans. If you are roasting asparagus, it’s fine to freeze and cook later.
· Rolls can be found in discounted bread sections frequently. Freeze for later and you’ll save around 50%!
2. Consider a grocery store deal. Many stores off an Easter package with ham and sides. If you don’t feel like cooking, many of these are a great way to go. Just make sure you order ahead of time! I know Honeybaked Ham has some Easter specials, also.
3. Cook from scratch. I know this is the exact opposite from the above, but if you are into cooking, make everything from scratch.
· Cheesy potatoes from a box are actually more expensive per serving than homemade! Head over to AllRecipes or Recipe4Living to find some tasty recipes. This is by far my favorite cheesy potato recipe, and it’s in the crockpot (I omit the ham and it tastes great)!
· For desserts, think simple: carrot cake, pound cake with strawberries, etc
4. Keep it simple. I love to make huge elaborate meals, but most of the time I go overboard. When menu planning, consider everything you’re putting on the menu and ask “Do I really need this?”
· Focus on 4-5 parts to the meal. Buy one part each shopping trip for the next couple of weeks to stretch out the spending
· Also consider portion sizes. Some dishes aren’t that great as leftovers, so you might want to make just enough for the meal. Yet you might want to consider a larger ham while it’s cheaper. Ham can be frozen, used in pasta dishes or soups. (I also like to scope out stores after Easter for cheap ham)
5. Make new traditions! While it is a customary for most to have ham, considering making your OWN traditions. Some people don’t like ham, so do a turkey instead. A huge pasta meal or even a pizza night can still be fun. Focus on the special time with your loved ones and it doesn’t matter what you’re eating! If you have a large group, think about a potluck where everyone brings their favorite main dish.
What plans do you have for Easter?
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