07 November 2022
Christmas get ready guide advent
Get ready for Christmas with us and follow along with our ‘Christmas advent calendar’ to help with prepping for the food to come! Starting with a clear-out challenge, then moving onto menu planning and list making, making edible gifts, and finally key things to remember in the days leading up to Christmas.
Download a PDF of the advent calendar with the get ready guide here.
How the get ready guide works:
Starting from No 1 make your way up the tree in numerical order to find the assigned task. This isn’t your conventional advent calendar though – the tasks run over a few days to help you prep for Christmas day eating. You can also switch the tasks around to suit you and your household. The tasks are outlined below.
Day 1-8: The clear out challenge
Challenge yourself to see whether you can live off the contents of your fridge, freezer and pantry for a week – without buying any more food.
This is a good chance to remember what food you’ve already got and will help you clear out all those odds and ends that are taking up space or have been hanging around for way too long.
- Check your pantry for opened packets of pasta, noodles, small amounts of rice, opened chip packets, cornflakes, or crackers that won’t get eaten or have gone stale.
- Stale chips, cornflakes, or crackers are a great addition to make crispy chicken! Try these recipes for baked crispy cornflake chicken or Korean style baked popcorn chicken, just substitute the cornflakes in the recipes for crushed chips or crackers.
- Stale cereal crushed up can also substitute biscuits in your favourite uncooked fudge slice recipe.
- Check your fridge for jars and sauces that have a small amount left in them, opened packets of cheese, deli meats, fruits and vegetables that are looking a little sad, any leftover foods, food that has been pushed or hiding at the back of the fridge. If still edible use them up by making pizza or using bread bases in muffin trays little savoury treats.
- Check your freezer for opened packets of vegetables, pastry, leftovers, meat and seafood that may have been sitting in the freezer for some time or you may have already forgotten about.
- Find recipe inspiration in our recipe catalogue, you can also check out the LFHW UK recipe catalogue, or simply do a google search with the key ingredient you want to use up and get creative with substituting for ingredients you already have in your pantry, fridge, or freezer.
Day 9-15: Planning and list making
It’s very tempting to make everyone’s favourite food for Christmas Day eating, but try hard not to go overboard. Keeping the menu as simple as possible will not only reduce food waste, but will also make it easier for you and save you money.
Getting a list together can be as simple as going through your recipes and checking each ingredient to see if you already have it, or add it to your shopping list.
Making a shopping list also stops you having to do any last minute dashes to the crowded shops on Christmas eve, or worse realising you are missing an ingredient on Christmas Day.
- One way to approach menu planning is to spread your feast over a couple of days. Instead of eating the ham, turkey or lamb, and salmon all on Christmas day, why not have the ham on Christmas Eve (that means you can crack into it for breakfast on Christmas Day), have the turkey or lamb and leftover ham on Christmas Day and plan to have the salmon a few days later or on New Years Eve. And if you buy the salmon before Christmas with intentions to eat it later, get it in the freezer as soon as you get home.
- Don’t forget to add in any ingredients that you may need to help you utilise your leftovers. For example, having some pizza bases in the freezer will make it easy to whip up pizzas on Boxing Day (turkey, cranberry and brie, anyone?).
- Check out our menu planning guide for celebrations and special occasions for more tips and ideas.
- For more tips about shopping with a list and sticking to it, check it out here.
Day 16-22: Edible gifts
Make someone’s day by making them a LFHW edible gift featuring a commonly wasted food item, such as bread, bananas, or apples.
Try making chocolate cake using not so fresh buns or bread, or make breadcrumb bliss balls (use the breadcrumbs instead of oats, for example), banana oat cookies, or get creative with what you have. There are also plenty of recipes online that you can search for if you’d like to try make something else.
- For other edible gift ideas to make with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, check out this blog.
Day 23, 24: The days before
At this time of the month it can get full on with events and organising for Christmas Day ahead. Doing small things like checking if your shopping is stored correctly and the fridge and freezer are at the right temperatures will help make sure the food items you bought will stay fresh for longer.
- The fridge temperature should be between 0⁰C to 4⁰C and the freezer at -18⁰C.
- Storage is key for making sure produce stays fresher for longer. Check out our A-Z produce storage guide for tips on best storage methods.
- Make sure you have containers for leftovers so you can send some home with your guests. Have other containers prepared as well that you can freeze extra food in. You don’t need to buy new containers – using old takeaway or ice cream containers is a great way to reuse them. Encouraging your guest to bring their own containers as well is a great way to make sure the leftovers get taken away and enjoyed.
Day 25: Christmas day
Celebrate! Have a special day with those you are with.
If you have any food leftover get them in the fridge or freezer as soon as you can. Before your guests leave remember to pack the extra food into smaller portions for your guests to take home. For other tips on how to love your leftovers this Christmas, check out this blog.