Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanksgiving on a Budget

For most people, Thanksgiving is a holiday all about family and friends spending time together, and yes, eating. It’s typically a relaxing day, but that may not be the case when you consider the potential costs of the event. This year we want you to stay focused on what’s important, so we’re sharing five ways you can make sure your Thanksgiving is fun and festive without breaking the bank!

#1 – Cook from scratch

If you’ve got the time and the inclination, you can save big bucks by making your Thanksgiving meal from scratch rather than from prepared mixes or, even more costly, from already prepared foods.

Yes, cooking can be time-consuming, but enlist help! Get your kids or spouse involved in the food prep. Thanksgiving is a family affair, after all.

#2 ­— Don’t overestimate the serving size

Time for some honest evaluation: How often have you underestimated the amount of food you need to serve for Thanksgiving? Is the answer never? In truth, nearly everyone prepares way more Thanksgiving food than necessary to feed their guests. In fact, in some families it’s become a tradition to keep serving turkey for days after the holiday, while trying desperately to find new ways of dressing up the same dish. But this tradition can easily double or triple your Thanksgiving budget. Adjust your expectations, and prepare a fine feast without overdoing it.

One of the biggest budget killers is the turkey. To have enough for all without buying more than you need, plan on 1 pound per person. For example, a 20-pound turkey will comfortably satisfy 20 guests.

#3 – Potluck it

One of the best cost-saving strategies for Thanksgiving is to make it a potluck event. Task each attendee or family member with bringing a dish to share. Don’t be afraid to make category assignments, so you don’t accidentally end up with an entire meal of desserts or just appetizers. With this approach, everyone feels like a part of the meal and everyone shares in the cost.

#4 – Craft the decorations

Don’t run out to the store and buy overpriced holiday decorations – craft them instead! This is a great way to involve your kids in holiday prep – or make it a day-of project that involves all the invited kids. By handcrafting decorations, you can save a great deal of money while still making things look festive. Save even more by asking each attending family to bring an assigned decoration – one can bring the centerpiece, another the holiday candles, and so forth.

#5 – Enjoy some free fun

A great way to make Thanksgiving memorable without spending much money is to plan activities or games to provide memories beyond the meal itself. Just make sure to adjust the plan according to age groups and weather considerations. Here are some low-cost examples:
  • Sports-related activities, such as Frisbee toss, touch football, beanbag toss, tag, or a potato sack race.
  • Craft-related activities, such as drawing or coloring. 
  • Game-related activities, such as cards or board games. Or put out a jigsaw puzzle – a fun group activity that can be stopped for the meal and then picked up later. 
  • A talent show. Let your guests know well in advance to optionally plan on showcasing their talent —dance, poetry reading, singing, musical instrument, or whatever. Calling it a “show” instead of a “contest” will keep things friendly and fun.

Manage holiday cough-and-flu season costs

Unfortunately, November/December is not only a time for holidays, but also for the flu, colds, and other illnesses. We want you to stay healthy so that you don’t miss out on your celebrations, but sometimes you can’t avoid getting sick.

Don’t let your prescription costs get you down. Manage your budget by using the FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or app, which are available to you for free, and can save you an average of 43% off the cost of your prescriptions. Learn more here and have a happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cornucopia: Horn of Plenty...Abundance of Nutrition

Cornucopia - The Horn of Plenty
Of all the traditional Thanksgiving decorations, my favorite is the Cornucopia - The Horn of Plenty. Why? Well, because it always makes me think of the beautiful colors of Autumn and the abundance of nutrition that comes with fruits and vegetables that are in season. In modern times it is represented as a horn shaped basket that is filled with plenty of fruits, flowers and vegetables. In Greek mythology, it was an amazing horn that had the magical power to fill itself with whatever kind of food or drink its owner wanted.

What Do We Wish For?

What kind of things would you fill your horn of cornucopia with this Thanksgiving? The winter months can seem so barren as the trees grow bare and the we no longer see our beautiful gardens in bloom. But that doesn't mean we can't grow plants indoors! There are many winter flowers that can decorate your home during the holidays and all winter long. For example, the poinsettia plant, African violets, primrose and the Christmas rose.

There are plenty of fruits and vegetable that are in season that have much nutritional value. Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to stop eating fresh or local fruits and vegetables. Here are a just a few of my favorites that you can include this season.

  • Pomegranates - A featured fruit in Greek mythology, just like the cornucopia, this delicious and beautiful fruit is called the jewel of autumn. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and may help break down LDL (bad) cholesterol.
  • Apples - A great snack when you're craving sweets, or chop them up and add them to a vegetable salad or to leftover turkey salad this holiday.
  • Blood Oranges - High in vitamin C these are a taste of sunshine on a cold winter's day. During the cold and flu season, vitamin C is a must.
  • Cranberries - Sweet and tasty, they are high in antioxidants and can help prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Radishes - A great low-cal snack by themselves or in a salad, they add color and taste.
  • Sweet Potatoes - A thanksgiving dinner favorite, they are lower in carbohydrates than white potatoes and high in potassium.
  • Rutabagas - Sweet and nutty and great in stews or mashed with a butter substitute to keep this root vegetable low in calories and carbohydrates.

Thanksgiving Crafts

Making a cornucopia as a table centerpiece can be a fun craft for kids over the holidays. Craft stores are a great place to by a horn shaped basket without going to a lot of expense. It can be filled with fresh fruits and set on the table to add color and serve as a nutritious, low calorie desert after thanksgiving meals. It can also be filled with plastic fruits and flowers if it's a decoration you'd like to keep from year to year. Either way, it's a colorful bit of ancient history to include on your holiday table.

Thanksgiving for kids
Example of mosaic cornucopia from
Some other craft ideas that will make thanksgiving for kids more fun include:
  • Stuff the cornucopia with other objects. You could fill it with canned goods and donate them to a local food shelter or a neighbor in need. Or wrap up leftovers and put them in a cornucopia basket for guests to take home.
What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Please feel free to share a favorite decoration idea or memory in our comments section. We at FamilyWize wish you and your family a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Greek mythology
 The horn of plenty, part of ancient history and a
Thanksgiving tradition, as this photo from shows.

Caroline Carr
Contributing Writer