Part 1: Thanksgiving – Dinner for a Dollar Style
Welp… it happened… November 1st rolled around and everyone is talking about the Holidays! Well, the Election and the Holidays – but, let’s keep it positive and focus on the Holidays – ha!
All the buzz has gotten me into the Thanksgiving Spirit. I wanted to share with you how we do Thanksgiving – Dinner for a Dollar Style. So I decided to make the blog in November all themed around Thanksgiving. I will be taking principles from my book and sharing with you, each week, how I use them around Thanksgiving to save me time, money, and energy on food. This week I am covering how to serve Thanksgiving without breaking the bank. The rest of this month, I will cover how to re-purpose leftovers, how to handle cooking fatigue, and – just in time for Black Friday – why I love my Instant Pot. So, let’s kick it off with how to do Thanksgiving without breaking the bank! Just because it is time to celebrate, does not mean it is time to bust your budget. It is possible to be festive AND frugal!!! I figured I would share a few of my tips with you.
Set a budget.
This always comes first!!! Decide how much you have available to spend on holiday food and stick to it. There is so much peace knowing that you can afford your holiday celebrations. Trust me when I say, this peace is worth whatever sacrifices you may need to make. If your budget is really tight, cinch it all the way down and make it a special evening – eating simply and spending time with loved ones. If you have a little wiggle room and can splurge some, feel that freedom – but know how much you have! And stick to it!
Once you have set your holiday budget, pull out the cash for that and set it aside. Use that cash for your special Holiday food. Once it’s gone, call it quits and make do with what you have. Using only cash creates a tangible limit that’s easier to stick to.
Shop the sales.
I was just shopping this weekend thinking about how much I love the Holidays because there is *so* much food on sale!!! Take advantage of this! Shop around, scope out the best deals, and capitalize on those low prices. If it fits in your budget, take this time of year to stock up on pantry staples.
If you are gathering with extended family, share the load! Don’t feel like you need to provide all the food for everyone. If it’s just you and your family, have your crew pitch in and help. Young kids can scrub potatoes and wash the celery. In our house, kids around 8 can do tasks requiring simple knife skills. Older kids can do anything adults can do – with proper supervision and training. We have our 4 kids work in shifts so that, when it’s their turn, they get 1 on 1 time with Mom in the kitchen. Get them involved and make it a family affair. It lightens the load and increases the time you get to spend together as a family.
Don’t over do it!!!!
Keep it Simple – remember the meaning of the holiday is gratitude, family, and faith. It’s hard to be grateful and focused on family or our faith when we are stressed about having that perfect cranberry stuffing we saw on Pinterest. We don’t have to serve fancy or fussy food. We don’t have to have every Thanksgiving themed side known to the American country. Have a meat – have a few sides – have a dessert – and have a grateful heart that’s focused on your family and your faith.
I know that if you keep these strategies in mind and work within the resources you have available, you will be able to enjoy your Thanksgiving even more. Keep a watch out for the rest of the Thanksgiving themed posts – how to re-purpose leftovers, what to do with cooking fatigue, and a special Black Friday post about why I love my Instant Pot so much. In the meantime, what are your favorite ways to save money on your Thanksgiving Dinner?