Holiday season is officially here! With holiday parties, family gatherings and gift shopping on the horizon, the next month promises to be one of the busiest of the whole year. While the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your loved ones, between entertaining, cooking and finding gifts things can quickly become stressful!
Instacart is a great way to save time this holiday season with grocery delivery, but in case you’re looking for even more ideas, we’ve compiled some of our tips for holiday entertaining and cooking to make the season a bit easier. Read on for our advice to have a simple and stress-free holiday season!
1. Use pre-made foods from your local grocery store for entertaining
Cut down on the time and energy entertaining requires with a simple little cheat: buy your hors d’oeuvres, cheese platters, sides and other party dishes pre-made from your favorite local grocery store!
Not sure where to start? Browse grocery stores in your area on Instacart and look for pre-made dishes and appetizers. Make it all even easier by getting them delivered to your home!
2. Stock up on holiday groceries and baking essentials early
There are just some things you know you’re going to need throughout the holiday season: flour and baking supplies for cookies and desserts, hot chocolate and apple cider keep warm, wine for entertaining … the list goes on!
Save time and plan ahead: create a shopping list of all the holiday groceries and essentials you need and stock up in one shopping trip! Don’t forget to use Instacart if you are short on time and can’t make it to the grocery store …
3. Have last-minute gifts on hand
Avoid last-minute gift snafus by having some small gifts wrapped up and ready to go. These gifts don’t have to be big — a small bag of local gourmet goodies or a bottle of wine is all it really takes!
Looking for more tips and tricks to ease the stress of holiday season? Don’t miss these tips from our partners!
Holiday tips from our partners:
“As a time-saver, you can make pie crusts and cookies in advance, then freeze and bake straight from the freezer. We love slice and bake cookies for feeding holiday crowds. Baked, decorated cookies can also be frozen.” – Whole Foods Market
“If you are hosting a holiday gathering this year, every bit of planning will help! We recommend making a timeline to help plan out everything thing you need to do for the big day. Plan out when recipes need to start, what you can make the day before, when to set the table, and other important steps. On the day of, you’ll be thankful you planned ahead.” – Pete’s Fresh Market, Chicago
“Make your holiday parties a little less stressful by asking guests to bring a dish to share. Everyone loves sharing their favorite recipes so this can be a conversation starter and way for your guests to connect with each other.” – Natural Grocers, Denver, Boulder and Portland
“Use fresh herbs. Fresh thyme, sage and parsley really make holiday dishes pop. Calculation on using fresh herbs is double what dried herb use would be.” – Gelson’s, Los Angeles
“Pick some holiday dishes that are ‘hands-on’ (like wrapping shrimp with speck and skewering, peeling sweet potatoes, etc.) so you can get everyone involved.” – Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia
“Marinades and dry rubs add flavor to your holiday turkey, lamb or ham. Allow to work their magic for at least four hours prior to cooking.” – BiRite Market, San Francisco
Let us know how you’re preparing to have a stress-free holiday season! Tweet @instacart on Twitter with your secrets to winning the holidays.