Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Preparing for Thanksgiving!

Photo from: AmazingMoms.com

In exactly one week we'll be celebrating the month of November! It's crazy how fast the year can fly! With the month of November coming that means there is more meal planning to do and holiday shopping to prepare for and if you're part of a large family that might mean there is a lot more cooking to do!

How do we save money during the holidays and how do we plan menus?

1st off - what are your plans for the holidays? Are you staying at home and having guests arrive from out-of-town? Will they help with bringing food for the meal or will you supply everything? Are you going away to visit friends or family for Thanksgiving? Are you going to be baking any pies to take along? Knowing what your plans are ahead of time will help you to budget and know what to buy.


2nd- once you have figured out the answers to the first questions, you then will proceed to figure out what you need to plan and prepare for food-wise. You can cook for a crowd and not go broke! What are some Thanksgiving or Christmas meal traditions that are a "must have" (don't forget to ask your husband for his favorite "must haves" too, because sometimes they are different than yours)? Write a list of what your typical Thanksgiving meal looks like: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, apple pie, rolls and down here in the south mac 'n cheese is quite a popular dish served at the Thanksgiving meal. If you're able to ask for help and if you have willing family members let them bring something to help with the food! For example, an out-of-town guest who travels 8+ hours to get to your house will probably not want to bring an apple pie, so instead ask them to bring something that travels well like a can of green beans or a box of stuffing that you can prepare Thanksgiving morning. The same goes for if you are the one traveling - help with the meal by bringing something that will travel well.


3rd- How many people will you have? Where will they sit? Do I have enough dishes, silverware, glasses, chairs, etc. for that many people? Will I need to see if I can borrow a table from someone or church in order to have enough room? Do have have enough tablecloths?

TIP: START WORKING ON STUFF NOW! Do you want to have tablecloths that match? Do you want to buy them or sew your own? Do you want to have cloth napkins? What about name holders? If you have kids or are feeling in a crafty mood yourself, you may want to try making some cute placeholders like this cute little turkey made out of a pinecone. If you're looking for matching tablecloths or even just planning to sew yourself some, buying craft supplies or other fall decorations, make sure you print out coupons for Micheal's, JoAnn's, AC Moore and other craft stores so that you can save $$! You can probably get some good deals on tablecloths with a 40-50% off coupon and then go back again later using another coupon to buy another matching one, so that you get two for the price of one.

These are just a few things to start thinking about now. My husband and I still need to figure out what we're going to be doing for the holidays. Needless to say, I need to get my act together before I start my monthly grocery shopping and figure out what we'll be doing! :)

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving and holiday tricks and tips with decorations, meal planning and traditions?

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