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How to Calculate How Much to Make For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Tip: Calculate How Much Food You'll Need

For an elaborate meal like Thanksgiving, it's crucial to consider how much food you'll serve. Too little, and you'll leave guests wishing they could gobble up more; too much, and you'll wind up with Thanksgiving leftovers for weeks. To make sure your food doesn't go to waste, take time to do some adequate planning. A few pointers, when you read more.

  • For passed appetizers, figure each person will consume six to eight pieces.
  • For soup starters, assume roughly one cup per person. For a larger crowd of 25, allot 5 quarts.
  • For a whole turkey, figure in a pound of meat per guest.
  • Sides vary. Allot 3-4 ounces for vegetable sides, 2-3 ounces for pasta, and 1-1/2 ounces per head for grains, like rice.
  • Assume each diner will consume one yam or sweet potato.
  • Figure in 1-1/2 dinner rolls per person.
  • When it comes to pie, allot a 3-inch wedge of pie per person. This would mean several (2-3) 9-inch pies for a larger group of 25.
  • Calculate that each guest will drink roughly one to two 8-ounce drinks per hour.

If all else fails, you can employ the help of a Thanksgiving calculator and spreadsheet. What are your tips for ensuring you'll have enough (but not too much) food at the dinner table?

Source: Getty
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