November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!—Tips, Tricks and Recipes

turkey Thanksgiving is almost here, and I thought I would post some of the links for related blog posts that I’ve written over the years. 

For a general post on ways to save for Thanksgiving, go here.  You might want to read this post on holiday stress busters to begin stress management now.

If you are traveling, look at this post for tips on saving money on gasoline.  (When I wrote this, I was amazed to see gas prices going above $3.  Now I’m glad to see them at $3!)  Check out this one for keeping your sanity while traveling with kiddos.

For some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes:

  • Yum, Yum Sweet Potato Casserole—a Southern favorite.  Might as well be on the dessert table!  Be sure to read my post on sweet potatoes, here.
  • Squash casserole—see the recipe in my mother’s handwriting.  Love this one! 
  • Sausage Dressing—While I love oyster dressing, mirliton dressing, and crab dressing, this is much less expensive with easier to find ingredients. 
  • Serving a soup course?  This is Butternut Squash Soup is a seasonal favorite of ours.
  • Buttermilk Chess Pie—another Southern delicacy.  I am salivating thinking of it.
  • Make up a pot of this Cinnamon Coffee to serve with your desserts.  It will be a crowd pleaser!

If you are daring to go Black Friday shopping (or on Thanksgiving, since apparently nothing is sacred anymore), you might want to make a shopping survival kit.  Below are some ideas to pack with you that I gleaned from a friend who shops the Black Friday sales every year:

  • Waters and drinks
  • Snacks such as granola or protein bars
  • Coupons for area restaurants and stores and any shopper loyalty cards or discount cards like AAA
  • Baby wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Wear comfy shoes and bring an extra pair to stash in the car
  • Cloth bags so that you don’t have to use plastic. 
  • A map of the area so that you can bi-pass high trafficked areas
  • Sunglasses
  • Lotion and chapstick to reduce the affects of cold winds or dry heated air
  • Wear layered clothing and bring a coat, gloves and hat.  My friend said that she starts shopping at 2:30am (if you start at midnight you’ll be stuck in all sorts of traffic and lines), and the temperature at that time is very cold.  Mid-day, though, you might be ready to strip off a few layers.
  • First aid kit—you never know when you’ll be needing band-aids or pain reliever
  • Caffeine—bring your reusable cup so that you can pack a drink with you after leaving a restaurant
  • The newspaper—you might be surprised at how many sales ads include coupons and other discounts
  • Your Christmas list and budget—keep track of what you spend and on whom so that you don’t overspend or overbuy.  It is easy to get caught up in the thrill of the hunt and spend more than you’ve budgeted. 
  • A few candy-canes and a good mood.  I saw a shopper pass out candy-canes to others in line at Gymboree years ago at a Black Friday sale.  I was so impressed.  Bring the spirit of Christmas with you and share it with others.  Since you know you’ll be waiting in line, why not boost others up instead of passing on a grumpy mood?  Be especially kind to the sales clerks—by the time you reach them, they’ve probably dealt with all sorts of rudeness.  Be sure to say, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Holidays!” or even just a “Please” and “Thank you” will do.

Starting to plan your Christmas get togethers? Check out this post for some frugal entertaining ideas.

I hope you have safe travels, yummy meals, drama free time with your families, and grab some good deals when shopping!  Gobble, Gobble!