How To Shop For Large Christmas Dinners and Holiday Meals

7 Days of Christmas Crazy Mega – Holiday Meal Grocery Shopping for the Busy Mom

I started cooking the family Christmas Eve meal about seven years ago. I serve a traditional sit-down meal for around 20 with all the bells and whistles. I do this every year and three years ago Christmas Morning Breakfast was added to the mix.

To say that I need to optimize my Project planning is to put it mildly.

If you have a big meal to plan and cook, or any other larger event chances are there is a pretty intense shopping trip headed your way today or sometime real soon.


I am going to share how I cope with an enormous Christmas Dinner, Breakfast and meals for the week shopping trip with my Little Guy. But I must tell you, if you have more than three children  and a list  equal to that of Good St. Nick himself. Please, please try to find some place that will deliver!

I am also eating as many meals as I can at home this week. The tendency to  grab fast food during the holidays is intense. Those extra calories are not what I need and the processed food is really not good for my family. So on top of the shopping I am doing for Christmas, I am also adding super simple meals for at home.


Let’s Get Started:

Just answer the following questions and make your plan.


  • Have you written your meals for the next few days? If not then please do so if you desire. Add these plans to your calendar.
  • Have you written the menu plan for the Holiday Event? If not, then please do so.
  • Did you assign anyone a dish? Mark that off and send an email reminder.
  • Did you order a ham? Pies? Fruit or Vegetable Trays? If so add what day to pick-up or what day they should arrive on your calendar?
  • Gather every single recipe you will need to accomplish your holiday meal(s) and simple dinners for the week. I keep Holiday recipes in a binder just for this occasion.
  • If you double a recipe or triple, mark it with bright colors or a post it note as reminder for the grocery list.
  • Now write down every single ingredient that you need to accomplish your entire menu and simple dinners. This includes items you think you may have on hand.
  • Next, with list in hand, zip around the kitchen and mark off the items you already have. Kind of like grocery shopping in your home.
  • Next step: If you clip coupons, spend a few minutes choosing only the ones you absolutely need to take with you to the store for the items on your list.
  • After this, I use and my Iphone to tweak my list by stores. Costco, Target, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts etc.  You can do this with paper just as well. Cozi is totally free and has lots of nifty features.

To cope with my son hanging out with me through the shopping process I divide my shopping into a few short trips.  I never take him to more than two locations in one day.

Day 1: Target and Traders Joe’s

Day 2: Costco and Sprouts

You can also divide your list by refrigerated and shelved items. This means shop for the shelved items that need no cold storage in the day. Then have  your partner or spouse watch the little ones while you shop for the refrigerated items. Or just shop for the refrigerated items with your children the next day.


That is it, my tips for doing a Mega-Shopping Trip for the Holiday Meals.


  1. says

    I haven’t even begun to plan our Christmas Eve menu. We just do appetizers. Time to get the list going and the shopping done. Have a great holiday Pam!


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