12 Jan Planning Food for the Bunch
Setting up for a family adventure can be a plenty of work. It’s one thing to coordinate schedules with everyone who is coming, schedule accommodations and make a planning for what you’ll do for the week, but then you’ve come to determine the food, too. And it must be said: planning food for a big group is no small task. For a single thing, you’ve got to menu plan, make grocery lists, determine the number of coolers you’re willing to need, and then there’s the entire business of packing it all, too. (It can feel like you’ve completed a feat before you even get out the door.) And what about making sure you have enough? Because, let’s admit it: when you’re satisfying a crew, and particularly if you have a number of young people involved, you go through food like crazy.
Makes you tired just dealing with it, doesn’t it?
Whether you’re assembling for a family ski vacation or planning to spend several days at the lake, we can’t take away the huge to-do list that goes down when you’re getting everything ready. When it comes to food, we can offer some helpful tips to make things run a bit more smoothly.
Initially, start keeping track. Make a master checklist of all the food that you buy. Or, if you already have a list from last year, it will come in handy for this year’s trip. Getting a master list lets you to make comparisons at the end of the week. How much did you make use of, as compared to what you bought? What did you lack too quickly? What were the popular snacks that you desired you had bought twice as much of? What did you bring home (so you know what to cut in half for next year)? Being able to compare what was bought against what was actually eaten is helpful so you don’t overbuy next year (on the items you didn’t use up), and you’ll know what to get more of, too. This is helpful for other handy items also, such as paper plates, cutlery, paper towels, etc
Suggestion # 2: Divide up the cooking tasks. As if the monumental job of getting all the shopping done and everything packed in coolers wasn’t sufficient, imagine if you’re the only person cooking all week for a group of 20! Ridiculous? That person is made certain to get worn out. So, to circumvent that issue and make the load lighter for everyone, assign a various person to be over food for each night. Whoever is cooking for the night gets to choose what they’ll be making (and can coordinate with whoever is doing the shopping beforehand so their dinner menu items get bought on the main master list, too). By having everyone take a turn, no one has to put in more than a few hours in the kitchen at dinner time and everyone can help carry the load.
3? Have various folks assigned for cleanup every night. Yup, that’s ideal. Different from the person that is assigned to cook, unless the individuals in your group would rather just be assigned one night for cooking and cleaning, all-in-one. Again, managing to take turns and have everyone take an assignment makes the going a little easier for everyone overall.
Suggestion #4: Buy lots of food specifically for snacks. It’s surprising (a little amazing, really) how much food you can go through in a week with a lot of people. If you’ve made sure that there is sufficient food for the meals but have only a few snack items to last for the whole week, you might want to think again, particularly if you’ve got kids along. Acquire ample amounts of a variety of things to have on hand for when folks get hungry. And frankly, chances are, you’re not going to be taking much of this home; you’ll be surprised how much of this gets eaten.
Eventually, don’t forget to consider the entire group when planning everything out, especially where snacks are concerned. You’ll want to purchase both treats and healthier choices to suit the preferences of everyone who is going along. While the kids might dive in to that bag of Laffy Taffy like nobody’s business, some of the adults might want hummus and fresh veggies instead. Having alternatives can go a long way to making sure that everyone is fulfilled when they’re hungry and need something to bite on.
And hey, the moment the details are rectified, then comes the best part: spending time with those you love. We specialize in group transportation, and it’s always cool for us to help families get from place to place when they are taking joy in a reunion together. Let us know if we can work with your family when you gather for fun this year!