Tag Archives: frugal

Hats off to budget shoppers.

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For the first time in two years we’re venturing out of our Thanksgiving Covid bubble and spending the holiday with friends as was our tradition. It will be a small gathering with a large amount of love.

And food. As well as drink.

In that spirit… I went shopping yesterday for the ingredients to whip up my contributions to the feast. To say I had sticker shock is a gross understatement, and while I’ve been cringing at the checkout counter for a while now, this trip was solely to make three things which made the cost positively ridiculous.

Harvest sangria –

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And mind you, I already had the vodka.

Crabmeat toasties –

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Already had the mayo.

And a cappuccino mousse trifle.

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Already had the milk.

To assemble a drink, an appetizer and a dessert in 2022 without the items I already had at home?

$211.76.

Granted the fresh crabmeat is an indulgence at … are you ready? … $40 a pound. In Maine! Two pounds are pictured, which a few years ago cost me roughly half that. And sure, I could have brought cheese and crackers but everyone loves these and looks forward to them. Probably because they’re too cheap to ever make it themselves, but still.

On the flip side of my extravagance, I have a frugal girlfriend. Every year she challenges herself to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner for six people for under $30. She’s so proud of her ability to do this she lists her purchases on her Facebook page if anyone wants to follow her lead.

I thought this year, with its astronomically high food prices, she wouldn’t be able to do it.

I was wrong. And I’m including her post because she just impresses the Hell out of me.

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I’ve been asked by so many people if I was going to do a Thanksgiving on a shoestring post this year. Well, I did it. I’ll give a shopping list with prices, menu, and break down how I did it.
Turkey $6.14 (.47 #) 13# bird
1 1/2 # sweet potato .56
2# sweet onions .87
Celery $1.50
1# carrots .50
2.5# potatoes $1.00
Squash $1.00
Turnip $1.00
Fresh herbs $1.99
Graham crackers $1.25
1 large banana .40
1# flour .75
2 cups sugar $1.00
Canned whipped cream $2.50
1qt. milk $2.19
Butter $3.99
Vanilla pudding $1.49
Cranberries $1.00
Stuffing $2.49
Grand total $31.62

Thanksgiving menu
Roast turkey with stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Squash
Roasted Root Vegetables
Homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade gravy
Chai pie
Banana cream pie
Biscuits

This was probably the most challenging budget Thanksgiving Dinner. My goal was to keep it at or below $30.00. I could have done it if I went with with cheaper options, like margarine, instead of butter, but I refuse to skimp on quality. Another option was to get a loaf of bread for 1.29, at the off price bread store for stuffing, but $1.00 savings in the meal didn’t make sense when it cost more in gas to go get it. A lot of things, like potatoes, flour, and sugar I buy in bulk, but I used store prices for those items. By making things from scratch, like pie crust, biscuits, and cranberry sauce, you can save a lot of money. I got canned whipped cream, because whipping cream was sold out. The price is about the same. My menu is looking a little different this year as well. I talked to those who were coming for dinner, and we decided on two pies that we all liked. There’s no sense in baking a bunch of pies that aren’t going to be eaten. Six different side dishes aren’t necessary, so we decided what our favorites were. We grew our own Squash, turnip, and herbs, but I priced them for the dinner cost. This list can be tweaked to your personal liking. I didn’t include beverages, because we already have that stuff on hand. In the end, Thanksgiving dinner for 6 breaks down to $5.27 per person. That is, until I turn leftovers into more meals 😉………Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope this had helped 🙂

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Proof positive it is possible.

That’s also proof I’ll never do it myself, but hey… to each their own.

So however you celebrate Thanksgiving , or even if you don’t… I hope your day is filled with food, friends, family and fun.

Let the boozy goodness begin!

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