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Teacher Gifts, Holiday Tipping


There are TONS of guides out there for holiday tipping those important service people in your life.  I am so grateful that I don’t typically have this struggle because I don’t use any service people are on a regular basis…no babysitter, no hair dressers, no maintenance people, etc.  Oh wait, I’m living in an apartment now and the maintenance crew, two in particular have been AMAZING!  So what do do?

In addition, my kiddos attend a homeschool co op run by super talented and committed moms and professionals.  The urge to shower them with gifts to show my appreciate is strong.  My desire to spend money is about zilch!  I had planned to make soap for every one but two things…one I haven’t started it and it needs at least a week to cure and two I gave them all soap last year.  So I’m in a bind, what to do?

So this post is all about you…what do gift or do you gift those important service people in your life and/or you children’s caretakers or teachers?

I have decided on one…for the first time since Little Gymnast joined the team, I feel the urge to show my gratitude with gifts.  I asked the owner of the gym what to get for his primary coach as I really don’t know him to well.  He’s an older, pretty gruff man and for a lot of reasons I haven’t had any personal conversations with him over the last three years.  But the owner made it really easy…buy him a case of Mountain Dew.  So that’s one gift I will be giving someone who is an important part of our lives if not a personal connection.

Thanksgiving Leftovers


I know you’re probably getting sick of hearing about Thanksgiving by this point, but I wanted to write one last Thanksgiving-themed post to tell you about how far our Thanksgiving food stretched this year…

From a single meal we were able to serve:

  • 3 adults + 2 kids for lunch on 11/27
  • 5 adults + 3 kids for dinner on 11/27
  • 1 adult + 2 kids for lunch on 11/28
  • 1 adult + 2 kids for lunch on 11/29

And still going strong….

I finally had to eat something different for lunch yesterday (11/30), but I packed up and froze enough leftovers to feed our family (2 adults + 2 kids) a full Thanksgiving dinner for some future meal. And we still had an extra serving of sweet potato casserole for some future meal side-dish (now frozen) and extra turkey leftovers that I’m planning to make into turkey-noodle soup tonight (same recipe as chicken noodle soup, but using leftover turkey & turkey broth).

IMG_5088 IMG_5089

In my conversions, 2 kids = 1 adult (in terms of portion size), so our Thanksgiving dinner made 17.5 servings, not including the leftover sweet potatoes and turkey noodle soup planned for tonight.

Not too shabby to get nearly 20 meals out of a single dinner!

Also, I wanted to thank you guys for the tip on saving leftovers! I don’t mind eating leftovers but in years past I’ve never thought to freeze any uneaten Thanksgiving leftovers. I think I’ve eaten leftovers for a couple days, then the rest sits around in the fridge until it eventually goes bad and/or gets thrown out. I’m excited to get every bit of use out of the leftovers this year (saves money and cuts down on food waste!) I’m particularly proud of myself for saving all the turkey broth. This is something I never used to do, but since I’ve started blogging I’ve been saving chicken broth anytime I’ve cooked a full chicken (tip: although most breast meat is at least $2.50/lb.+, you can often find full chickens priced at as little 88 cents/lb.) I like to cook a full chicken in the crock pot and I’ve learned to save any chicken drippings and/or broth for future cooking. Flavorful AND frugal! : )

Hope you all were able to stretch your Thanksgiving into many meals, too!

Any other tips for saving food so leftovers don’t go to waste? I have a friend who posted a picture on Facebook of a “Thanksgiving leftovers” quiche with potatoes, stuffing, eggs, turkey, and cheese. Thought that was pretty creative, too!