5 Holiday Cooking Tips: How to Save Time and Money

Prepare the Battlefield
If your fridge looks like this, that's going to be a problem.
If your fridge looks like this, that's going to be a problem.
© iStockphoto.com/alicat

Once you have bought and hauled home all your ingredients, you might suddenly find yourself frozen in front of your open fridge, wondering how on Earth you're going to cram everything in. Lots of people let their refrigerators become a place where condiments run wild and leftovers go to die -- not a good strategy when the holidays are approaching and food production ramps up.

Take a few minutes to evaluate what's essential and what has been languishing for so long you can't remember what prompted you to buy it in the first place. Anything that fails to ping your memory can be fast-tracked to the trash. Clear off a refrigerator shelf and some room in the freezer for housing holiday dishes, and free up as much counter space as you can to make room for the bustling excitement that's about to go down.

All the ingredients and tools you'll be using during the cooking process should be as accessible as possible to speed things up, so drag the mixer out of its dusty corner and round up all the tongs, mixing spoons, measuring cups and other equipment you think you'll need. Having it on hand and ready to go will make the entire process much smoother.

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