Setting Up Food Stuff for the Bunch
It’s one thing to coordinate schedules with everyone who is coming, book hotels and make a plan for what you’ll do for the week, but then you’ve got to figure out the food, too. For one thing, you’ve got to menu plan, make grocery checklists, figure out how many chillers you’re going to need, and then there’s the whole business of packing it all, too. Because, let’s face it: when you’re feeding a crew, and particularly if you have a lot of young people involved, you go through food like crazy.
Makes you tired just thinking about it, doesn’t it?
Whether you’re gathering 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 reduces 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.
To start with, start keeping track. Make a master list 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. Having a master list allows you to make comparisons at the end of the week. How much did you use, compared to what you bought? What did you run out of too quickly? What were the popular snacks that you wished 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 gotten versus 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 as well, such as paper plates, cutlery, paper towels, etc.
Next: Divide up the cooking assignments. As if the significant job of getting all the shopping done and everything packed in coolers wasn’t enough, imagine if you’re the only person cooking all week for a group of 20! Whoever is cooking for the evening gets to choose what they’ll be making (and can coordinate with whoever is doing the shopping beforehand so their dinner menu items get purchased on the main master list, too).
Tip #3: Have different folks assigned for cleanup every night. Yup, that’s right. 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, being able to take turns and have everyone take an assignment makes the going a little easier for everyone overall.
Tip #4: Purchase 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 adequate food for the meals but have only a few snack items to last for the entire week, you might want to think again, especially if you’ve got kids along. Buy 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.
Lastly, remember to consider the whole group when planning everything out, particularly where snacks are concerned. You’ll want to buy both treats and healthier options to accommodate the preferences of everyone who is coming along. Having alternatives can go a long way to making certain that everyone is pleased when they’re hungry and need something to munch on.
And hey, once the details are made good, then comes the most ideal part: hanging out with those you love. We focus on group transportation, and it’s always exciting for us to help families get from place to place when they are delighting in a reunion together. Let us know if we can help your family when you gather for fun this year!