I mentioned earlier this week that I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving since having kiddos. My Dad is coming to town so it will be a small group: 3 adults and 2 kids. Even though there won’t be a lot of us, I still want to have a “traditional” Thanksgiving with all the regular fix’ ins. The problem, of course, is that this can get pretty pricey in a hurry! Yes, turkey is on sale (I snagged mine for .79/lb!!!), but when you are buying a ton of food the cost jumps up pretty quickly.
To try to keep costs low I decided to plan a reasonable menu and stick to it. I often find that I can go overboard with planning enough food to feed an army, so I thought this would help keep things within check.
BUT, when husband saw the menu he instantly objected. Tell me what you think:
- Sweet potato casserole
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Cranberry Sauce
Anything jump out at you???
Husband brought up that there are no veggies (potatoes don’t count!) One of his favorite side dishes is green bean casserole and he voted we add it to the menu. But one more side dish feels a little over the top. So what could we remove???
Enter: The Great Potato Debate
We have two kinds of potatoes on the menu (sweet and mashed). The obvious choice is to cut one of them. Sweet potato casserole is probably my favorite part of the entire meal. But you can’t have thanksgiving without the mashed potatoes, can you? I mean, what are you going to drown in gravy and eat with your turkey??
What would you do?
I’d like to keep the side-dishes to a minimum but I’m really thinking I might just have to keep both potato dishes AND add the green bean casserole. Maybe just make smaller portions of everything??
Also – have you been watching your local store sales recently? Dang, there are some good deals right now! If you have a Fry’s grocer in your area, I’ve been killing it with some amazing deals on canned foods lately! I try to rely mostly on fresh foods for dinner, but it sure does help to have a stocked pantry in lean times and the deals right now are so amazing they’re not to be passed up! I got a ton of varieties of Green Giant canned veggies (39 cents each), chicken broth (39 cent), beef broth (39 cent), cream of chicken soup (50 cent), boxed stuffing (50 cents) and I’m sure more that I’m now forgetting. Such low prices!
To try to save money I made my Thanksgiving grocery list a couple weeks ago and I’ve been buying items as they come on sale (like brown sugar and pecans this week). Whatever hasn’t gone on sale and is still needed I’ll grab next week. Hopefully it shouldn’t be too costly. This is my first year doing Thanksgiving since blogging away my debt, and it has definitely changed perspective. Instead of just going to the store and buying everything I need in a single trip, I’ve been strategizing and scouring sales, and trying to still buy everything I need, but to get it to stay within my budget. It hasn’t been too hard with all the killer sales, but it’s definitely required some extra forethought so I could break up the purchases across a few weeks’ time.
I’ll also end up being able to save some money on dessert. A friend has invited us over but we’ve opted to do our own dinner (partly because I’d like to have our first “family” Thanksgiving, and partly because their dinner is during the toddlers’ nap times), but we’ve decided to go over to their house for dessert. So, instead of being tempted to make and/or buy 2-3 different dessert options, I’m going to be able to stick with one and simply take it to my friends’ house. They’ll have additional options there so there were still be plenty of variety.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving? How do you keep costs down on Thanksgiving food? What would you say about our menu (keep both potatoes? Cut something from the menu?)