This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Food Lion. All opinions are 100% mine.
As you all know, I love the holiday season.
There’s nothing that can match the magic of Christmas, especially as a mom.
But it can also be a time of feeling stretched really thin. Between school events for 3 kids, family gatherings, parties and holiday shopping, it’s easy to feel stressed when you are running from place to place while trying to keep up with all the normal day to day stuff too!
That’s why when my friends at Food Lion asked me to partner with them and share how we cut down the stress of the season so we can enjoy it more, I was so excited!
Food Lion has been a HUGE part of the way we are keeping more of the magic and less of the stress this year—it can be the same for you too! Here’s how!
1) SHOP THE SALE
A huge holiday stressor can be money. For most people gifts are a big expense…and that, paired with décor, parties, clothes and travel can add up quickly.
So, when you go grocery shopping, try to stick with things that are on sale to save a little extra.
You simply hand the card at the end to the cashier (of give your phone number) and save! It’s so much easier than cutting them out of the newspaper and handing a stack over.
2) OPT FOR PREMADE FOOD
We’ve been attending a lot of holiday gatherings and parties lately.
I used to try and make a different homemade something to bring each time, but with three kids, I’m not in a season where that’s possible right now. So, instead of trying to rack my brain for something new for every single event, I keep it simple and bring the same exact thing every single time!
I head to Food Lion and grab two trays of premade bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers. They are in the meat section, packaged up on disposable trays.
All you have to do is bring them home, pop them in the oven for 30 minutes, and put them in a portable casserole dish.
It’s the BEST appetizer and everyone loves them. I rarely end up with any left over after an event…and it’s so simple!
BAKING TIP FOR MAX CRISPINESS
I’ve learned over the course of making these many times that these bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers crisp up well when you place them on a baking rack.
Food Lion does such a good job wrapping an incredible amount of bacon around each jalapeno slice that if you cook them directly on the pan, they fry up soggy versus getting crispy all the way around.
For this photo shoot, I decided to place them ON a baking rack ON a glass dish ON a baking tray (in case the grease fell off the side of the rack) and it works out beautifully!
The tray didn’t get greasy so it probably wasn’t necessary but I like to guarantee no spills in my own (remember, I don’t have TIME to clean that up! hehe)
3) SEMI-HOMEMADE IS STILL HOMEMADE
If you absolutely can’t (or won’t!) choose to bring a pre-made item to a gathering, try doing a semi-handmade type thing.
For instance, you could get sugar cookies already made from the Food Lion bakery, and then grab some icing and sprinkles in the baking aisle to decorate your own cookies.
I’m always pleased with Food Lion’s selection of easy-to-make items, especially their entertaining items. For our Christmas breakfast, I’m going to make homemade pancakes…using Food Lion’s Holiday Spice Pancake Mix. It’s so tasty, and my kids honestly will not know (or care) if it’s from a box and mixed up vs completely from scratch.
4) REUSABLE BAGS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Believe it or not, one way I’ve cut down on holiday stress is switching to reusable bags.
I feel like we have so much STUFF coming into our lives around the holidays that having a pile of plastic or paper bags to deal with every time I go to the store only adds to my stress!
So I grabbed some limited edition holiday reusable bags at Food Lion and have used them countless times over the past couple months! Not only have they helped cut down on clutter in my house, they have saved me from one of my biggest pet peeves—plastic bags that rip as you are carrying them in! So frustrating!
Don’t forget – reusable bags can carry more weight than plastic bags, meaning you have fewer trips from the car to your kitchen, which is a lifesaver in itself.
5) KEEP YOUR DRIVING TO A MINIMUM
Okay, this might be obvious to most, but it wasn’t for me!
I was constantly running around town running errands to places stretched out all over until I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I vowed I was going to do everything in my power to cut my driving down, and started doing the majority of my shopping at the store closest to my house—Food Lion!
It’s two miles away from me, and I make sure I keep a list of what I need throughout the week so I can quickly pop in, grab what I need and go.
Plus, Food Lion has a huge selection, so I’m able to get most of my toiletries and house necessities there too, like shampoo, toilet paper and soap.
I’ve fallen in love with the peppermint hand soap and am definitely going to stock up before they are gone!
Fewer trips also means you have less opportunity for random items to wonder into your cart, so it will save you money as well—a huge plus during the holidays! 🙂
Want more ways to reduce stress around the holidays?
Visit Food Lion’s website for more tips on how to Outsmart the Season. This page is packed with easy meals, décor and gift ideas!