Holiday Food Shopping Guide

With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are preparing for events with friends and family. Whether you are traveling or hosting, cooking and baking for the season can easily turn into a hectic frenzy-filled mess, making this one of the most stressful times of the year. So, going into all of the madness prepared can make things a whole lot easier. If you just need to double check your inventory or if you haven’t even started (I am raising my hand right now), the following is a shopping list tailored to all of the staples of the holiday season.

Snacks and Finger Food

For most of us, the cold seasons often signal that it is time to stay warm and dry inside, and spend a little time enjoying ourselves and the company of others. And, when we want to make people feel welcomed or create a loving atmosphere, small snacks are often a cheap and simple way to bring people together (and maybe ease the tension between some in-laws).

Here is a list of tried-and-true holiday celebration snacks that are guaranteed to bring in those fuzzy fun feelings:

Crackers, nuts, dried fruits, graham crackers, pretzels, fruits (apples and oranges usually do the trick), cookies, and if you’re feeling really creative, DIY some cute themed snacks, like rice crispy reindeer, or mozzarella snow people.

Baking Ingredients

The holiday season is the best time to put some magical creation into the oven, let it heat up the house, and bring out those delicious baking smells. Those old and young relish in the moments that they were able to create loving memories of family cake-baking or cookie-decorating, many often making it an annual tradition! However, sometimes our memory gets the best of us, and when we think we still have some left-over ingredients, we realize we have to take a last-minute trip to the store.

So, here are some of the most commonly used items integral to holiday baking:

Eggs, cinnamon, sugar, milk, chocolate, butter, vanilla extract, brown sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Of course, there are many more essential ingredients that really just depend on the nature of your baking. Some may require Chex Mix, mini marshmallows, icing of any kind, candy pieces, peanut butter, whipped cream, and so much more. Just make sure to have a plan so that you can tackle the holiday season prepared!

Dessert Items

For some of us that don’t like to cook, don’t have the time, or just want a smoother celebration, opting for premade goods is a great idea. If you don’t plan on making items from scratch, many grocery stores, bakeries, or even charity fundraising events are guaranteed to have what you need.

Don’t forget to pick up some of these classics on your way back from shopping:

Pumpkin pie, apple pie, cherry pie (any kind of pie really), cheesecake, chocolate cake, brownies, muffins, and ice cream! Get creative!

Mains, Sides, and Add-Ons

When it comes to cooking for the family, community pot-luck, or even small friend gatherings, it is important to prepare ahead of time for what your meals will consist of, as it takes away a lot of the stress many face during the season when they have it all mapped out.

Here are some of our favorite foods we love to see on the dinner table:

Meat(s) of choice, staple vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery, bread and dinner rolls, pastries, honey, salad (leaves or noodles), salad dressing, honey, jams and jellies, and anything else your family loves to eat over the holidays.

Warm Essentials

Last but certainly not least, who can survive without these warm essentials perfect for getting you through the harsh winter season. We love having hot food items to warm our hands, and our souls.

Some of our top picks are things you just can’t go without this season:

Broth, soups, chilis, eggnog, apple cider, and our favorite, a cup of any flavor of NŌK CHOC’s Premium Calabar Cocoa! Bring the gift of love into your home and celebrate with those you cherish and give back to the community this holiday season!


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