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

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leftovers - A Holiday Gift That Keeps on Giving

With the Holidays quickly approaching everyone is gearing up for some good home cooked meals. Sometimes the second night is better than the first when leftovers are involved. Who doesn't love a turkey sandwich the next day after the big Thanksgiving meal?

In our family we break out the turkey sandwiches that night, after our Thanksgiving dinner because we can't wait for the next day! Holiday leftovers are the best by themselves or used to make up another everyday meal for our family. Nothing goes to waste in our household during the holidays and every one's jeans seem to fit a little bit tighter by the New Year. Here are a few soul warming food recipes and some leftover ideas for your family that will keep their mouths watering through the cold winter months.

Leftover Recipes

Here are my favorite leftover recipes that I love from Thanksgiving and Christmas food leftovers. I hope you will at least like one of them or maybe all of them and try something new this year.

Thanksgiving dinner
Turkey leftovers that make you go Yummmmm.
Turkey Leftovers -- Turkey Pasta Salad

Cubed turkey leftovers
1 box of (14.5oz) uncooked rotini pasta
2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
1 cup of raw zucchini, chopped
1 medium stalk of celery, chopped
1/2 cup of almonds 

Use 1 1/2 cups of your favorite dressing or whatever you happen to have in the fridge or cupboard. I have used Ranch, Cesar, Poppy Seed or Italian Cheese Dressing in the past and they have all turned out great.  

Cook pasta as directed on the package, omitting salt for a healthier salad, and add broccoli for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Next drain the pasta and broccoli, rinse with cold water to cool, and then drain it again.
In a large bowl mix the turkey, pasta, broccoli, zucchini, and celery. Next add your favorite dressing and top with almonds. Now enjoy an easy pasta leftover turkey meal.

Yam Leftovers -- Candied Yam Muffins

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked yams
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

All ingredients should be at room temperature. Cream butter, sugar and yams until smooth. Add eggs. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add milk slowly while stirring. Fold in nuts. Fill muffin tins, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Ham/Scalloped Potatoes/Corn leftovers -- Ham Casserole 

This is the easiest leftover of them all and it tastes so good. My Mom usually has this about the 4th day after Christmas when everything else has been picked through. All you do is take all your leftover Ham, scalloped potatoes, and corn and mix it in a deep dish pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. You can even add a cup of shredded cheese for some extra pizazz.  

Mashed Potato Leftovers -- Mashed Potato Patties

4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes
1 onion, diced
1 egg
1 cup of cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Combine mashed potatoes, onion, egg, and cheese. Shape into large size balls. Roll in flour and flatten into patties. Melt butter in frying pan and brown about 5 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper to taste.

Here are some helpful websites that also have great leftover ideas that you might like.  
All Recipes
Left Over Chef
Top 10 Best Leftover Recipes
Rethinking Thanksgiving Leftovers 
Closet Cooking Top 10 Recipes

I think what makes leftovers better year after year is simply using your imagination. You can't go wrong with what is in your fridge; you already ate it once and liked it the first time, so it's sure to be a winner once you jazz it up! Who knows, maybe you will come up with a meal that makes it to the first night instead of the second. Share your favorite leftover recipes in our comments section!

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer