These shortcuts can save you time and money
Make your holiday prep as easy as (pumpkin) pie.
Spending time with family can be stressful. Hosting can feel hectic. And preparing a multi-course meal might make you swear off cooking ever again. Fortunately, there are several life hacks that can help make your turkey feast a triumph.
Thanksgiving-induced trauma might be real, but here’s how you can avoid it:
Skip long lines at the grocery store
Getting to the market and realizing the checkout line is a mile long is every shopper’s worst nightmare. Thanks to the free Google Maps app for Android and iPhone, you can now view estimated wait times at grocery stores so you can plan the best time to fill your cart with cranberries.
Avoid burning dishes with this tricked out timer
Cooking multiple dishes can get tricky, especially when it comes to keeping track of timers. From the turkey to sweet potatoes and multiple pies, one timer isn’t gonna do the trick. With the free Android app Multi Timer StopWatch, voice commands and hand gestures are all you need to start, stop and engage several timers at once.
Remember that less is more
Christina Bryant, founder and CEO of home décor company St. Frank, tells Moneyish, “One quick tip for your tablescape is to choose a statement tablecloth. Most people have white plates and a simple setting will pop up on a pattern.” Additionally, if you have leftover pumpkins or gourds lying around from Halloween, you can carve out the center and put a tealight inside to create a votive centerpiece.
Outsource the things you don’t have time to do
There’s an app and website that finds local pros for any project, including chefs, bartenders, interior designers and handymen. Hire someone from Thumbtack to prepare your feast, pour your drinks, decorate your pad with pumpkin pizzazz or get your guest room in order. One of their San Francisco-based chefs, Niko Paranomos, even offers a hands-free stuffing recipe to lighten the cooking load. Most chefs range from $40 to $120 while bartenders cost between $150 and $200.
Automatically let your host know you’re stuck in traffic
Make yourself a human GPS with the free Google Maps navigation feature. Turn on the share option to keep people at your destination apprised of your trip progress and estimated time of arrival. This way, if you’re tangled up in a traffic jam, you can focus on the road instead of texting real-time updates. The app also analyzes the number of cars on the road and uses traffic measurements to ensure optimal driving routes.
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