At some point, everyone has had to endure the mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve to pick up those last-minute items. If you’re sick of rummaging through your kitchen to find elusive bits and pieces just minutes before your guests arrive, you may need to invest some time into organising your pantry. Not only will this give you more time; it will also ensure a less stressful day! Whether you’re getting ready to host a huge dinner or a small intimate lunch, we’ve got the low-down on getting your pantry ready for the festive season.
Give your pantry a spring clean
It’s easy for the pantry to become a place of chaos, especially when little hands keep messing it up! To make finding your food nice and easy during the festive season, give the pantry a little bit of extra attention. Create a logical placement of goods such as baking goods on one shelf, cereals on another, and so on. To make things even easier, consider putting those old airtight containers to use by filling them with cereals, rice and other bulky goods that tend to dominate pantry space. It’s also a good idea to use labels to identify your foods (and any important use-by dates).
Buy in bulk
Once your pantry is sorted, it’s time to head to the shops. A great way to take advantage of the festive season is by buying your groceries in bulk. Often, you can achieve the best long-term value for money by buying in bulk – great for saving money, time and stress when that big family dinner finally rolls around. While you will want to keep buying your perishables (such as fruit and veg) in small quantities, it’s never a bad idea to stock up on canned foods, pasta, confectionary, meat (to freeze) and soft drink while they’re on special. Just make sure you’ve got the space to accommodate it all!
Designate areas for Christmas food
You’re organised enough to shop in advance, so make it even easier come Christmas Day by placing designated feast food into specific areas of the pantry or fridge. For example, place bulk meats on the bottom level of your freezer, with any other frozen foods for Christmas dinner to be placed on top. Doing the same for items in the fridge and pantry will allow you to just grab and go – cooking will be less about the prep and more about the flavour! And isn’t that what the big Christmas dinner is all about?
Stuck for ideas?
If you’re struggling for some inspiration for your Christmas food, or just want to do something out of the ordinary, these food ideas are sure to get you cooking!
- Baked potato snowmen – all you’ll need are roasted potatoes, peas, carrots, toothpicks and some creativity!
- Fruity Christmas tree – not only beautiful, this dish is healthy too! You’ll need a Styrofoam cone, toothpicks and pieces of all your favourite fruits – don’t forget a rockmelon star at the top!
- Christmas pizzas – bite-sized treats that are great as appetisers. You’ll need some Christmas-themed cookie cutters, pizza dough and any toppings you like.
For a unique guide to preparing the big Christmas feast itself, be sure to check out our Original Christmas Meal Plan – complete with Japanese gyoza, Asian style roast beef, and coconut and lime ice cream for dessert!