5 Tips to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

Thanksgiving Dinner.jpgThere’s no doubt that the holiday season can be expensive, and maybe a lavish Thanksgiving feast just isn’t in the books for this year. If you’re not riding the gravy train, it’s still possible to cook a delicious Thanksgiving meal that doesn’t cost you an arm and a (turkey) leg. Here are some easy as pie tips to help you host a wonderful Thanksgiving on a budget!

  1. Make it a potluck. You don’t have to tackle the whole menu by yourself! In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, get everyone involved and ask them to bring one of their favorite dishes. Just keep a list of everything that everyone is bringing so you can make sure to have all of the Thanksgiving staples on the table.
  2. Stick to your shopping list and budget. Create your menu and budget well in advance. Bring your Thanksgiving shopping list with you on your regular grocery store trips to pick up non-perishable and frozen items when they’re on sale. You can also check your grocer’s weekly ad for current sales.
  3. Start from scratch. Pre-made items are often full of preservatives and seldom taste better than homemade items. Instead of buying powdered mashed potatoes, make delicious mashed potatoes with this simple recipe. You can also make a yummy stuffing with this easy recipe.
  4. Buy a frozen turkey. The turkey is usually about 40% of the cost of the meal. Opt for a store brand frozen turkey instead of a fresh one. Just remember to allow ample time for thawing. Click here to see how you can safely thaw your turkey.
  5. Find decorations at the dollar store. Believe it or not, the dollar store has some great decorations for the holiday season. Check out your local dollar store to see what you can find! Click here for 70 cheap DIY fall decor ideas.

We hope these tips help you stress a little less and enjoy time with your family during Thanksgiving! Do you have any other great tips? Comment and share them with us!

Thanksgiving: How to Bring Back the THANKS

With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get lost in the flashing lights and shiny bulbs that are already popping up in your local stores. You probably already have your shopping list started, and are thinking about the never ending task list that comes with the holidays. Do you have everyone on your list? Who is coming over for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

ThanksgivingEvery year it seems like Christmas is coming earlier than Thanksgiving, and you are ready to decorate before you have even finished eating your turkey. With every passing year, it becomes easier and easier to get lost in the materialistic side of the holidays. The faster they come, the less time you have to sit back, relax, and remember what we are even celebrating.

When is the last time you took a moment at Thanksgiving dinner to reflect on what you are thankful for? If you don’t make the conscious effort, are your children being taught the real meaning of these holidays? Does anyone around you seem thankful?

These are all questions that can open a person’s eyes to the fact that they are just muddling through the holidays, rather than enjoying them. Here are 5 simple steps to help you enjoy a more meaning holiday season this year.

  • Share your gratitude out loud
    • It may not be easy to do at first… you may actually need to think about the things that really make you happy. Start a list now and verbalize it on Thanksgiving. Every so often, say something on that list to someone in your family.
  • Make time for thanks
    • If you take a moment and encourage everyone around you to share what they are thankful for, you might just see that your gratitude is contagious. Even if it isn’t in a group setting, you can still make the time in a one-on-one setting.
  • Bring back the “Thank You” note
    • This is an outside the box way of spreading your gratitude. Leave notes for those around you thanking them for something. This will certainly spark someone to return the favor or maybe even pass it on.
  • Write it down
    • Even if you don’t use the “Thank You” note idea, writing your thoughts down will help you focus on what you have to be thankful for. If you are someone that doesn’t like to verbalize your feelings, writing it down can be just the same as telling someone. If nothing else, it’s a great first step.
  • Encourage giving!
    • Whether you’re the person to volunteer at your local soup kitchen or the person who helps their elderly neighbor rake his lawn, give someone something. Encourage yourself and others to give someone something to be thankful for.

These all probably seem simple and if you think about it, they really are. Just taking a moment to focus on these 5 ideas may help you and your family have a more rounded holiday season. We hope everyone enjoys the holidays this year!