Homekeeping

15 Days to Christmas! Eat From The Freezer!

It's time! If you've stockpiled a few freezer meals to use during the holiday season, pencil them into the menu plan during the next two weeks.

What? You say you missed out on this step? Check the supermarket's freezer section. A stash of family-sized entrees like lasagne or Florentine chicken can chill dinner-hour stress during the holidays. No more "dine and dash" at the pizza place or fast-food joint!

Free Printable Freezer Inventory

28 Days to Christmas! Clean The Entryway

Whether it's the front porch or foyer, apartment door or entryway, the holiday season will bring new scrutiny to the entry area of your home.

Remove clutter, clean and organize the portal to your household today. Check the front door, cleaning and polishing knob, knocker and any windows. Check the state of the welcome mat; is it time for cleaning or replacement? Check outdoor lights and replace any burned-out bulbs.

Declutter doorway storage areas so outdoor shoes, umbrellas or keys find an efficient, attractive home.

Hang a wreath for a seasonal touch. Be ready to open the door to a wonderful holiday season!

35 Days to Christmas! Double Up On Side Dishes

When cooking for the Thanksgiving feast, plan to double or triple amounts for any freezer-friendly dishes, and tuck the extras into the freezer for later use.

Good freezer candidates include unbaked pie shells, unbaked pies, unbaked stuffing and--surprise!--mashed potatoes. Doubling up when you cook for Thanksgiving will ease the kitchen load in the weeks ahead!

Cook once, feast twice ... for an organized holiday season.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe for Freezer Cooking

39 Days to Christmas! Stock Up On Freezer Meals

A stockpile of frozen dinners is a seasonal stress-buster during the month of December. This week, add a few ready-to-cook meals to the freezer to prepare for the busy weeks ahead.

Whether you try traditional once-a-month cooking methods, buy premade meals at the warehouse store, or pay a visit to one of the new freezer cooking franchises, setting aside a stock of easy family dinners will cut stress during the Christmas season.

Learn more about freezer cooking:

Feed the Freezer: Complete Freezer Cooking Guide

40 Days to Christmas! Tackle The Freezer

Clean Out The Freezer

Now's the time, in the calm before the holiday meals begin: clean out the freezer!

Supermarkets will soon offer loss leaders on holiday staples, from pie to whipped topping, dinner rolls to desserts. Tossing expired frozen food--or resolving to eat up freezer dishes that are nearing their expiration point--will create room in the budget and the freezer to stock up on staples for holiday meals.

Make-ahead baked goods and holiday freezer meals need room, too. Clean out the freezer to create a home for holiday goodies to come!

Take A Freezer Inventory

Keep track of freezer contents to stay on-track for happy holidays. A simple freezer inventory form means you'll know at a glance what's hidden in Moby DIck's cold innards. Print one today, to organize your frozen assets:

Printable Freezer Inventory Form

41 Days to Christmas! Clean Out the Refrigerator

In the weeks to come, the refrigerator will play a starring role in the holiday kitchen--so clear the decks for holiday cooking with a refrigerator clean-out.

Toss expired foods and work the last dribs and drabs of salad dressing, produce or dairy products into the week's meals.

You'll make room for the tastes of the season ahead!

Clean Out The Refrigerator

42 Days to Christmas! Tabletop Check

Thanksgiving morning is no time to discover stains on the tablecloth, unpack tarnished flatware or to recall that last season saw the shattering of your favorite turkey platter. (That darn dog!)

Prepare to set a pretty table with a pre-season tabletop check. Inventory and inspect table linens, napkins, serving pieces, holiday china and serving pieces.

Do you need to purchase replacements? Prices are best several weeks before the season, when housewares stores advertise tabletop goods at sale prices. Add any replacements to the seasonal shopping list.

Will you need to polish silver? Add the chore to the calendar, or delegate to an energetic child in need of spending money.

Launder linens and plan centerpieces and candles for an elegant table without the last-minute stress.

Track your findings on a free inventory planner page:

Holiday Tabletop Checklist

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