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  1. #1
    Senior Member Savin' Moola's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Default Tips for a Cheaper Thanksgiving

    Know your portions.

    It's tempting to have a big, beautiful bird, but it's more sensible
    to buy only as much as you'll need for your family. The formula is 1
    lb. per person. If you want leftovers, 1.5-2.0 lbs. per person.

    Take good care of the bird right after dinner.

    If you'll take the time to remove the meat and wrap it carefully in
    saran wrap or air-tight containers, it will remain nice and moist
    and tempting for the next meals. For the immediate next dinner,
    place the turkey in a plastic container, put a piece of waxed paper
    and then put some wet paper towels atop that. Keeps it nice and
    moist for sandwiches the next night.

    Plan your leftovers.

    Get those recipes ready. The meal's good just warmed over for the
    next night, as long as the gravy holds, but after that there's
    Turkey Tetrazzini, turkey soup, turkey hash. Rotate it with other
    meals. (Don't refreeze once-frozen turkey.) Tray a variety of
    flavors to go with the turkey. T.T. is bland. Try your own version
    of Eggs Benedict, using turkey instead of Canadian bacon. The
    hollandaise will add a zip. Make King Ranch Chicken (aka Turkey)
    with hot sauce. They won't even know it's turkey! End with cold
    turkey salad; the mayonnaise will moisten it.

    Grocery shop the day after Thanksgiving.

    Bargain-o-rama. Have you ever been? Surplus fresh turkeys at pennies
    on the dollar, bakery items, breads, fresh yams. Clean out your
    freeze and get ready. So ... shop for your Christmas meal the day
    after Thanksgiving!

    Pay for convenience when it counts.

    I like to buy throwaway aluminum pans to cook the turkey in. It's
    just such a mess to clean up afterwards. My sister buys gravy from
    the catering shop; an indulgence, but worth it to her.

    Consider alternatives.

    Make your own pie crust and bread. Unless you live in sweet potato
    country, canned yams or sweet potatoes are a better bet than fresh.
    Pre-baked breads are often sacrificed as loss leaders and with the
    rest of the spread, people don't really care. Pumpkin filling mix,
    often on sale, is cheaper than buying canned pumpkin and adding
    evaporated milk and eggs.

    Make your own stuffing.

    That's never on sale! Start on your stuffing mix now. Easy as pie!
    When your load of bread is getting old, put the last pieces on a
    cookie sheet and put it in the oven. Warm at 350 for 5 mins., then
    turn off. Leave the bread there to dry out. Put into baggies and
    save. Keep doing this. If you like cornbread stuffing, start
    planning lots of chili and cornbread meals! When it's time to make
    the stuffing, crush the dried bread (still in the bag) with a
    rolling pin and it'll look and act just like the storebought mix.

    Decorations? Festive wear?

    If you didn't do it last year, do it this year. Go out the day after
    Thanksgiving and pick up all those napkins, tableware, and cute
    decorations for a pittance. If you like a holiday sweater or t-
    shirt, check those sales out too. And don't let Medison Avenue jerk
    you around with the change of color-scheme every year. Choose one
    you like and stick with it!

    Don't forget about potluck.

    Most people who are guests at your table for Thanksgiving, would
    actually love to bring something so they feel they've contributed
    are are part of the holiday. My daughter-in-law's Mom and Dad have
    pecan trees in the back yard, so they always bring the pecan pie,
    and what a savings that is!

    My grandmother taught me this one. She mashed the potatoes and then
    put dollops of butter on top to melt -- for the eye. Splurge maybe
    on one item, for instance, some of the stores sell molded butter in
    holiday shapes. This can sure dress up the brown'n'bake rolls!

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