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A fall food spread including a turkey and several varieties of squash on a lakeside table. Food safety, outdoor dining. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones.

How Much Should I Prepare?

Holiday celebrations tend to center around decorations and  food. Planning enough food for groups of people can result in food waste or many leftovers. Leftovers can be helpful if you can use them in meals but too many can cause mealtime to become dull.

Hints that may help are:

  •  The higher the number of dishes, the lower number servings you need to make. If you are serving 12 people and having 5 side dishes, you do not need 12 servings of each side. People tend to choose one or two sides or only take small servings of each.
  •  Items that freeze well will make fun meals in January.
  • 3) Share extras with other family members so that they can enjoy them and food will not go into the trash. Plan foods that will reheat well, freeze well, or be so popular guests will eat all you have made.

By LuAnn Duncan, Family and Consumer Sciences