16 November 2009

Printable shopping and supply lists for an organized Thanksgiving

Guess who's hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year? Yes, indeed. As if my cooking life weren't complicated enough with our plunge into the gluten-free/dairy-free diet, I'm taking on Turkey Day as well.

Actually, I'm quite excited about it. While I'm not a big entertainer, I am a lover of ritual, so it's fun to be able to try my hand at a traditional Thanksgiving meal, especially as my whole family will be in town to help.

I've been inspired by all of the brilliant contributions folks have been making to the Slideshare Parent Toolbox, so I've decided to share the novice spreadsheets I've created to keep track of Thanksgiving supplies and ingredients. I've written about my lists in detail over at the Parent Toolbox, but here's a sneak peek:

Clearly I'm no Excel genius, but my spreadsheets do the job, and I'm actually feeling rather confident about my Thanksgiving planning. Wish me luck!

Related: About the Slideshare Parent Toolbox

More: Thanksgiving hacks

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I'm also hosting T-day for my first time (with both sides of the family, eek!) and just did the same exercise a few days ago. Our lists look remarkably similar :-)

The last thing I plan to do before shopping is consolidate the list (carrots, onions, and celery do not need to be listed three times each), cross off items already in my pantry, and sort by store. This would be so much easier if I'd made the list in Excel...but with a little one running around it was just too time consuming to have to log in to my computer repeatedly. Eventually I had to resort to pencil & paper.

Make sure your Dad knows that if the gravy bag in the turkey is broken (that seems to happen a lot), then the whole turkey is contaminated with gluten. We have had bad luck with this in the past.

Good luck with your GF feast!

Many grocery stores now offer online shopping. You don't have to complete the transaction though. When I go shopping for my weekly groceries or for a big event like Thanksgiving, I always do my shopping list online. I click on each item I need and it adds to the virtual shopping cart. Then, when I am done, I print out the list. It miraculously sorts my items for me by aisle. I go shopping on auto pilot with a baby in the sling on my belly and at least one toddler in the cart. I don't have to think about what we need for even an instant. Just follow the what the list says for each aisle and we're good to go. In addition, if the task seems too daunting for whatever reason, I can go ahead and order them online and have a shopper gather them up for just $5.95. Pull up in front, hand over payment, and they load the car for me. Even if your local grocery store doesn't have online shopping like that, Lowes Foods to Go is online and will at least sort out your list for you in a logical way even if the aisle numbers are wrong. It'd be a big help no matter what.

Good for you. Last year my daughter and I went to a catered Thanksgiving event. I told the organizers ahead of time that we were dairy-free and ending up eating a steamed vegetable plate. That's it.

Thanks you, MaosMommy, for the gravy bag tip. This gluten-free stuff is pretty daunting, but it gets so much easier with time.

Chris: BRILLIANT! I'm going to post your comment up front so everyone sees it -- if there were ever a time for online shopping, it's during the holidays.

Chris -- that is an excellent idea!

Oh how very awesome. I'm also hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever and am trembling a touch. I will be thinking of you!

I'll second the idea to shop on-line for groceries. I was devoted to such service when I lived in the UK. I didn't get a driving license, and didn't want to waste large portions of the weekend with my husband driving me around on errands. Driving a few villages over to the fancy gourmet grocery was fun, but for regular groceries, delivery all the way! Beginning when we moved there in my 27th week of pregnancy!

I tell moms-to-be it's worthwhile to learn your online grocery options and set up your account in advance. Then, when overwhelmed and foodless, the how of it won't prevent you from making use of this very, very helpful resource!

It's Ripe! is a new site that makes organizing your grocery list a snap. Enter ingredients that are in your pantry and get back recommended recipes. From there, you can build a shopping list to take with you on the go via a mobile phone.

http://itsripe.com

That is an impressively display of organization! I love it.

If you're dealing with your own recipes, then some of the solutions already mentioned are great. If you're dealing with a recipe from one of the big recipe websites like foodnetwork (and tons more), they often have a shopping list generation tool.

If you like to mix your own recipes with recipes from multiple websites, then a solution like http://www.plummelo.com is great because it automatically creates a shopping list for you.

Plummelo is my company, so I'm biased (smile). At the same time, it's the only way I know to create lists from a variety of recipe sources.

I’m lactose intolerant and have always dreaded the holidays, as all the food seems to be loaded with dairy. After a recommendation of one of my friends, I found this nutrition coach named Rose Cole who has a holiday cookbook and has tons of dairy free recipes. Her site is www.RoseCole.com/HolidayCookbook

I’m lactose intolerant and have always dreaded the holidays, as all the food seems to be loaded with dairy. After a recommendation of one of my friends, I found this nutrition coach named Rose Cole who has a holiday cookbook and has tons of dairy free recipes. Her site is www.RoseCole.com/HolidayCookbook

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