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- November 6, 2006 at 3:44 pm #237858
Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget
Thanksgiving dinner?the table piled high with turkey, ham, mashed
potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, gravy, deviled
eggs, macaroni and cheese, broccoli casserole, crescent rolls?and
don’t forget the pumpkin pie, spice cake, apple cider, and fruit
salad. Regardless of the menu, the fact is that there is always too
much food! And as a single parent, you are on a budget.
So how do
you cope with Thanksgiving dinner?
If you have a large family, suggest having each person bring a
particular part of the meal. Preparation, time, effort, and cost are
then spread evenly throughout the family rather than becoming the
responsibility of the host. If you have a smaller family, resolve to
only fix the amount of food needed to feed everyone and then stick
to your resolution. You can still have each person bring a dish, but
make sure everyone knows not to go overboard.
Leftovers are grand,
but not at the expense of your bank account. Limit yourself to the
amount of money and time you can afford to spend and stick to it.
One family I know found that they were spending Thanksgiving making
themselves sick at the dinner table and then lazing in front of the
television letting all those calories go straight to the hips. They
had completely lost the feeling of what it meant to recognize the
things for which they were thankful. They don’t have Thanksgiving
Instead, they join area churches in preparing and
serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless and the less fortunate
in their city. Various churches pull together so that they are able
to address the growing situation of poverty as it spreads throughout
our communities. Catholics, Baptist, Episcopalians, and Pentecostals
stand side by side and serve those that wouldn’t eat that day
without their help.
After all the homeless and less fortunate are
served, the volunteers then fix their own plates from the same food
that was prepared for those they served. They sit together at the
same table as those men, women, and children and share in their
thankfulness, realizing how fortunate they truly are. My friends
have found that having their family work together in this endeavor
has brought them closer to each other and to their community.
fact, community service has become a household phrase and when they
sit down to their dinner table it is a common topic.
Some people begin buying their Thanksgiving dinner months in
advance, putting turkeys in the freezer, stockpiling yams and
cranberry sauce, and making sure that their budgets don’t feel a
crunch right before the big event. Some make special efforts to clip
coupons or to take advantage of the holiday specials that certain
stores run (ex. Spend $35 a week for 6 weeks and get $20 of
groceries for free).
All these ideas are certainly great ways to
cope with holiday budget constraints.
Another way to handle the holiday dinner on a budget is to consider
leaving the traditional Thanksgiving fare behind and focusing on
ancestry. Do a bit of research in to your family ancestry and
discover the foods of which a traditional dinner would consist. In
most cases, you will find that traditional fare is much more budget-
friendly than the usual Thanksgiving feast. And you can learn more
about your family and culture, which will give you another item to
add to your list of things for which you are thankful.
Whatever you choose, make sure that you focus on what is truly
important – the fact that you have your family and so very much for
which to be thankful.
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