• Clean out the fridge and freezer to free up space.
• Gather your holiday recipes and cross-reference the ingredients you have with the ones you'll need to buy.
• Check your inventory of cookware, serving pieces, and food storage containers to see what’s missing. If you're in need of something, contact a family member or friend to see if you can borrow or share items.
• Shop for groceries and pick up everything you'll need to complete your holiday recipes. If it can be baked or cooked ahead of time, buy the ingredients now.
• Be sure to purchase plenty of frozen hors d'oeuvres and finger foods - they're a lifesaver when guests drop by unexpectedly.
• If you have kids at home, hire a babysitter rather than taking them with you. Shopping alone will help you stay focused.
• Cook any dishes ahead of time that you can. Casseroles, appetizers and desserts can be frozen, thus saving you time on the big day.
• Before starting your cooking and baking, lay out all the ingredients and baking supplies you'll need. Try to clean as you go, minimizing the mess.
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