How To Save On Thanksgiving Day Dinner

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Thanksgiving is a time of year when we give thanks for all of the wonderful things and people in our life. Thanksgiving is also a time when families gather around the table for a nice home cooked meal. The person throwing the Thanksgiving dinner is typically planning for this big day long before the guests arrive. You might even be a little stressed out over the costs involved with hosting such a large dinner gathering. Do not worry, spend time with your family and rest assured there are ways to save on your Thanksgiving dinner.

How to Save on Thanksgiving Dinner

Shop the Sales

During the holiday season you will probably notice that your grocery store runs several sales and promotions. Make sure you are watching these sales very closely as you can save big! You should also keep an eye our for coupons and if possible start clipping coupons for Thanksgiving dinner several weeks if not months before the big day.

Make a list of all of the items you need to pull off a successful Thanksgiving dinner. Every week see what items on your list you can find on sale. Some stores even offer promotions to get a free turkey or ham, so watch for that.

Accept Help

Your guests will probably ask you if there is something they can bring. If someone does ask you if they can bring something, say yes! Look at your list of dishes you will be serving and give your guests a couple of suggestions. Even something small like soda, a salad or rolls will help you save on Thanksgiving dinner.

Choosing a Wine 

Most families like to pair a wine with their holiday dinner. If you would like to serve wine that is great but keep in mind the cost of wine adds up quick. When looking for a wine, make sure you are watching for store sales. Some stores will offer a buy 1 bottle of wine get one for 5 cents or something similar.

You might also want to consider purchasing a boxed wine. Some boxed wines are just as good if not better than bottled wine. If you are not familiar with the different wines ask a friend or family member for a few suggestions.

Don’t Over Do It

It is easy to go overboard when planning a dinner party. You really don’t need 4 different types of salads or 6 desserts. Try to stick to the basics when planning your menu. Here is a sample Thanksgiving menu.

  • Green Salad
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
  • Rolls
  • Green Beans
  • Cranberry
  • Turkey
  • Pecan & Pumpkin Pie

People do add in additional side items but they are not necessary and will only put you over budget.

What are your tips for saving on Thanksgiving dinner?


5 Healthy Thanksgiving Ingredient Swaps


Thanksgiving should be a time of gratitude, family, friends and good times, not food comas and bloated bellies. If you make an effort to eat well everyday, you don’t have to throw your healthy habits out the window on Thanksgiving. Instead, clean up your favorite holiday meals with these healthy Thanksgiving swaps. We’re not saying go full-on tofurkey, but by choosing better-for-you ingredients, you can make the holiday healthier for you and your loved ones.

Traditional: Stuffing & White Rice
Healthy: Quinoa or Sprouted Grains
Stuffing gets an easy, healthier upgrade when made with quinoa or sprouted grains like brown or wild rice. Quinoa is a protein- and fiber-rich pseudograin, so it’s a great choice for any veg guests.

Traditional: Candied Sweet Potatoes & Marshmallows
Healthy: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil & Cinnamon
If you’ve ever baked, steamed or roasted a sweet potato, you know this healthy root veg is plenty sweet without marshmallows and added sugar. Try dressing your sweet potato side dish with coconut oil and cinnamon. Coconut oil provides beneficial fats that your body can more easily metabolize, which means you’ll less likely feel like you need a post-meal nap. Cinnamon is a superfood in its own right: It’s loaded with antioxidants and helps balance blood sugar levels. Simply bake sweet potatoes and swipe with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon before serving.

Traditional: Canned Cranberry Sauce
Healthy: Natural Cranberries, Chutney, Jams, Spreads
Chutney, jams, spreads … canned cranberry has a lot of competition and the other options tend to be lower in sugar and sodium. Not to mention real cranberries are loaded with vitamin C, manganese and fiber. If your friends and family are open to the exotic, try thischipotle cranberry orange relish. For a more traditional cranberry, go with this cranberry sauce with port. Can the canned cran … it likely contains BPA, too.

Traditional: White & Refined Baking Flours
Healthy: Whole Wheat, Gluten Free & Sprouted Flours
We admit that going from white flours to gluten-freesprouted or whole grain flours can change the consistency of texture of certain types of desserts, so you may need to whip up your favorite holiday dessert before the big day to make sure you get it right. Taking this extra step pays off big when you can serve your loved ones a better-for-you dessert.

Traditional: Fats & Sugar
Healthy: Unsweetened Applesauce
Did you know you could replace sugar and butter in recipes with unsweetened applesauce? Use a cup of applesauce for every cup of sugar called for in a recipe (just be sure to reduce the amount of liquid by ¼ cup) to reduce sugar levels and cut calories. It also makes desserts nice and moist. Unsweetened applesauce also works for replacing fats in sweet treats. Try ½ cup of applesauce and ½ cup of fat for every 1 cup of fat (butter, oil, etc.) in the recipe.


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Reducing Childcare Costs: Is It Possible?


Childcare is perhaps one of the most stressful aspects of being a parent. Coordinating schedules, choosing an appropriate facility or sitter, and finding the money to pay for this service is a tremendous operation. Considering that childcare costs continue to rise each year, the following tips and tricks will help families to navigate this complicated venture, and hopefully save them a significant amount of money along the way.


First, families need to determine exactly how much childcare they need on a weekly basis. Many daycare facilities offer both full and part time rates, so it’s important to stick with an organization that offers flexible fees. This ensures that your family isn’t forking out more money than necessary to cover the cost of this service.

The most straight forward way to reduce childcare costs is to cut back on the number of hours each week that you utilize this service. Although this may not be an option for everyone, working parents might speak with their supervisors and arrange an alternate schedule. For example, one parent might choose to go into work significantly earlier, while the other parent holds off for a couple of hours in the morning and manages kid duty. By swapping off, so to speak, this schedule allows you to avoid hefty childcare expenses altogether!

–          If possible, cut back your work week to 4 days instead of 5. If you and your significant other choose different weekdays to be off, you are only left with three days that childcare is a necessity.

–          If grandparents or other family members are nearby, and capable of lending a hand, ask them if they might consider helping out on a regular basis.

For many families with multiple children, paying for full time care just simply isn’t an option. The cost to put two or more kids into a full time facility could wipe out entire paychecks. Luckily, there is another choice: in-home care can be more affordable than sending kids to a child care facility. With this option you can minimize the need for a sitter by strategically arranging your schedules. Here, you only pay for a child care provider when you need them. In the past, we have also worked out a reasonable weekly rate rather than paying our sitter by the hour. Stay at home moms and college students are a great source for part time or as needed care, and the extra income is usually a big plus for them!

Another option is the concept of a shared sitter which allows families to equally divide childcare costs. Although this endeavor requires a significant amount of planning and compromise, it can be a beautiful, and money saving arrangement for folks with similar childcare needs.

Lastly, for date nights and other outings, families might consider joining a co-op situation where childcare rotates to a different home each week, allowing families the opportunity to go out without having to pay. Basically it is a mutual experience where each family equally contributes to childcare on a revolving basis, while allowing every participating couple the opportunity to spend some time out and about. If you have a large circle of friends, this is an ideal arrangement.

By examining your available childcare options and strategically planning your family’s schedule, you can significantly reduce the number of hours that you are paying for childcare. Putting together the pieces of this complicated puzzle may not be easy at first, but with a little creativity and perseverance, you can find a cost efficient arrangement that considerably reduces your overall childcare costs.

Note: Whatever child care option you choose, make sure to do your research, to make sure that you are picking a safe environment for your children. 



Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Chews Review

I admit I tend to spoil my dog aka my second child, maybe a little too much. However I don’t feel too guilty when I give him Nylabone Healthy Edibles.  I think his favorite flavor is probably the wild turkey or venison, however he also really enjoys the bison and salmon.

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They’re made with real meat so I can see why he loves them so much. I really like that they’re made with natural ingredients and no preservatives so I know they’re healthy for him. He doesn’t have any problems digesting them which has been a problem with some other brands of chews. An added bonus is they’re made in the USA (this is very important to us). These are a big hit in our household.


I tried to get a picture of Buddy enjoying his Dino shaped Chicken & Bacon flavored Healthy Edibles, and this is the best I could get. The dog was afraid I would take his new favorite treat away from him, so he “hid” under the bed.

Right now score a great deal on Healthy Edibles Wild Occupying Dog Chews by using this great $1/1 Healthy Edibles Wild Occupying Dog Chews coupon! We are picking up more of these delicious treats when Buddy attends his next Puppy obedience class this weekend. Maybe they will teach him, not to hide when mom is trying to take a picture for an article ;).