Food & Beverage · Seasonal & Holiday

How to Plan the Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner

This year, you’re in charge of hosting Thanksgiving dinner. It’s right around the corner and now you’re panicking because you want everything to be perfect. Take a second a breath because your worries are solved. This guide will navigate you through your plans for the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner.

Get a Head Count of Who Is Expected to Attend

Although you’re likely to have a few more people show up to your event than expected, it’s still important to get an estimate of people coming. This is the one step that most people overlook and it can be the reason too much or little food is cooked for the holiday.

Call family members and friends a week or two prior to give yourself time to plan accordingly. If you have kids coming, it’s important to separate the total by children and adults. This way you can get the right supplies at The Party Store.

Plan for a Children’s Table and Adult Table


While the idea seems archaic, it’s still recommended to keep the children and adult table separate. This is especially true if you plan to host a large dinner party for Thanksgiving. The adults can discuss freely with their own conversations, giving everyone “adult talk time” during the dinner. Plus, the children can have a smaller table that better accommodates the sizes of all the children attending.

Understand Everyone’s Dietary Restrictions

When you call to verify who’s coming, ask if they have any dietary restrictions as well. Check to see if you have vegetarians or vegans attending, so you can have dishes for them to enjoy as well. Other dietary restrictions include low-sodium diets, gluten-free diets, and diabetic (low sugar) diets.

This is going to help you when you’re shopping at ShopRite, Food Lion, or any other local grocery store. Having a few dishes for everyone to eat will make the experience more enjoyable. Plus, it makes planning the meals even easier for you.

Create a List of Meals (with Ingredients)

Create a thorough list of ingredients you need to make each meal. It’s already a hassle having to shop around Thanksgiving. So, it’s important to consolidate your ideas onto a list to help you shop quicker and more efficiently. It’s efficient since it’ll also ensure you don’t forget any ingredients in the hectic aisles of Walmart.

Prepare Most of the Meals the Day Before


Desserts and sides can usually be made the night before to make it easier for Thanksgiving Day. For one, you don’t want to be trapped in the kitchen all of Thanksgiving. Plus, the turkey or ham is going to take up the entire oven for most of the day, so it’s better to cook everything else ahead of time if it requires oven time.

Don’t Forget Your Other Party Supplies

Beyond being prepared with food selections, you want to make sure you have all the other supplies handy. This includes plates, knives, forks, and cups for all your guests. So, make sure to visit your local Walmart or Target to help prepare for this Thanksgiving holiday. Being prepared with all cooking utensils ahead of time is a smart move as well to avoid any last-minute trips to the store.

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