Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanksgiving on a Budget

Copyright 2008 Kimberly A. Shavatt All Rights Reserved

The table is set with your best dishes, the smell of the food fills the whole house and friends and family came from all over to join the celebration. Your mouth waters just thinking about the juicy turkey, the creamy mashed potatoes, and the wonderful gravy. Then you wake up and realize you're running low on cash and short on time.

How are you going to feed everyone? You want it to look nice, but you don't want it to cost a lot.

It's easy if you follow these simple tips.

Food
The most important item for your Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey. Right now almost every grocery store is offering some type of sale or special. Some even give you one free if you spend a certain amount of money within a month or so.

Mashed potatoes can be from scratch or instant - they cost about the same. Instant are a little quicker to make. It all depends on your preference. Do you like lumpy mashed potatoes or creamy ones?

Visit your local discount grocery store (Aldi's is my favorite). Their prices are usually cheaper on all the essentials and let's face it green beans taste the same no matter where you buy them.

To really save on food you need to ask your guests to bring their favorite side dish or dessert. This will cut costs and save you time in the kitchen.

Table/Decor
Find an inexpensive white table cloth. You want white because it's easy to clean and it can be reused for other occasions throughout the year. Simply change the centerpiece and accessories to change seasons. Ex. Red roses for Valentines Day, Green clovers for St. Patrick's Day, etc.

Make your own centerpiece out of fresh flowers or use a Thanksgiving decoration. Another option is to shop at your local dollar store or discount store for inexpensive decorations. You can usually find a nice selection of candles and candle holders that would look wonderful on your table with a few leaves and pine cones from outside.

Make your guests feel really welcome with personalized place cards. Create them using construction paper or print them out from your computer. Let your kids help by decorating them with stickers or drawing leaves, turkeys, pies, etc.

Help your younger guests feel welcome also, by making their eating environment more kid-friendly. Try putting a plain white paper tablecloth on the "kid's table" along with a couple crayons. Some restaurants do this. That way the kids can draw on it before or after they finish eating. This could give the adults some time to get the food ready or finish up eating.

Atmosphere
Do the sport fans in your group a favor and have at least one television in the home set to football game. There's always at least one person who wants to check the score, and some who watch the entire game.

With all the people and cooking going on your home can get hot really fast. Do everyone a favor and crack open one of the windows.

Play some soft music in the background. Nothing fancy and you don't need to plan a play list or anything. Just turn on the radio to a easy listening station.

Maybe offer a game to play after everyone eats. It's better to pick group games like Trivial Pursuit, Scene It, Scattergories, etc. This way everyone who wants to can play.

There really is no need for expensive decorations or lots of fancy foods. One trip to the local dollar store and your discount grocery store is all that is needed to create a very enjoyable Thanksgiving meal for everyone. Good food doesn't have to cost a lot and fun doesn't have to be expensive. Save some money and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

Elina said...

Wow... nice plannings for Thanksgiving.