November 2, 2010

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Season and Holiday Stencil - Thanksgiving

Gobble, Gobble!  Thanksgiving will be here before you know it.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some information on how to ready yourself for Thanksgiving.  Part of that preparedness for a couponer also includes saving money, and so you’ll see the newest addition to my “Ways to Save” series focusing on Turkey Day posted sometime this week.

Things to do this week--

  1. Pull a pad of paper, notebook, or folder that you can designate as your planning guide for this holiday season.  Having a central location for all of your information, notes, recipes, and coupons will come in handier than you might think.  Whenever I have a big event planned, I use a notebook planner to keep me on task and on time.
  2. Set your guest list, place and time.  Are you going to travel this year or host the family for Thanksgiving Day?  Write a list of who will be invited and as you have confirmation from them, make note as to when they will be arriving.  Some family might be arriving the night before and staying as overnight guests.  If that is the case, you’ll not only need to plan the menu for Thanksgiving, but you’ll also need to factor in any additional meals that they might be present for at your home. 
  3. Set the menu and prioritize.  While including every person’s favorite food in the meal might be a nice touch, you’ll be exhausted from all of that cooking and you might spend beyond your budget.  Jot down notes of what you might want to prepare and start gathering recipes together in your planning notebook.  Priorities for us are—turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a pumpkin dessert.  The next set of priorities are sweet potato casserole, corn, and green bean casserole.  Then at the bottom of the list, the “if I get to it or if it is a good deal”, are deviled eggs, relish tray, rolls, ham, and another dessert.  If you are traveling to have Thanksgiving dinner at someone else’s home, ask what you can bring or how you might be able to contribute to the meal.  If you are unable to bring food, consider ordering a flower arrangement as a centerpiece or bringing a bottle or two of wine or sparkling cider/juice.
  4. Once you’ve set your menu, make a grocery list.  Include items that you might already have at your home, but make note of that on your list.  For instance, right now I have cream cheese in the fridge to use for a dessert.  I’ll make note of having it and I’ll update that if we need to use it for another recipe before that time. 
  5. Begin to cut coupons, shop for bargains and/or earn “turkey points”.  Watch for deals on the ingredients that you might use for Thanksgiving and also think ahead for Christmas.  If your grocery store offers “turkey points” (Ingles in Knoxville does), you might want to build up points for such a purpose.  By shopping a little here and there, you’ll be able to get better prices than if you go shopping right before the holidays.  You’ll also have a little more selection now than waiting until the day before Thanksgiving.
  6. Begin doing some prep work.  If you are having overnight guests, make sure that the bed linens are cleaned in that room.  Change any light bulbs that have burned out.  Put away any Halloween decorations and get out the Thanksgiving ones.  Clean out your freezer and pantry to make room for the items you’ll buy for Thanksgiving.
  7. Bake something to freeze.   If you are having overnight guests, start cooking now.  Bake some whole wheat banana bread and freeze it for a quick and easy breakfast.  If you want something more substantial that can be used for breakfast or a simple supper, make a quiche or two and pop them in the freezer.  Make a pot of soup that you can defrost to go with the quiche or that you could serve with a pan of Sister Shubert’s rolls for a light supper or lunch before Thanksgiving.  Another really nice touch is to make up a roll of herbed butter.  Simply let your butter soften to room temperature and add chopped herbs of your choice.  Roll into a log and freeze wrapped in Saran Wrap.  Your guests will go on and on about something so simple to make.
  8. If traveling to someone else’s home for Thanksgiving, look in your gift closet and pull out a hostess gift.  Having it ready to go will make things so much easier when you set out on your destination. 
  9. If traveling overnight, make a list of what you’ll need to pack for your trip.  If a hotel is needed, make the reservation now rather than waiting until the last minute.  You'll better be able to compare prices and look for deals on overnight stays. 
  10. Begin getting the children excited about Thanksgiving.  Look up scriptures that apply to giving thanks and being thankful to God.  Incorporate the theme of thankfulness into your story time by borrowing related books from you local library.  Check out this website for some activities for children.  Look in the lower right hand corner for some links to printables.  Start a gratitude journal where you help children write things that they are thankful for from that day at bedtime.  Get the entire family involved in the journal and plan to look back on it as part of the celebration of Thanksgiving Day.

Stay tuned next week for more ideas and tips to get you ready to Gobble Gobble! 


  1. This is definitely going to help keep me on track! I just bookmarked - thanks for the tips!

  2. I'm so glad that it will be helpful. Thanks for the comment!