Valdosta Daily Times

November 17, 2013

Brittany's Budget Diary: Nothing says ‘I’m thankful’ like gluttony

Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The great thing about Thanksgiving is that even if you have nothing to be grateful for, you still get to eat turkey. Sure, a deep-fried bird and my affinity for stuffing doesn’t make up for the fact that my husband’s insurance premiums are increasing and that my car tag renewals are due four days before most expensive day of the year (Christmas), but hey, after I’m sent into a food coma, the size of my rear-end will be the only thing on my mind for at least a couple of days. You see, on Turkey Day, everyone’s a winner.

With Christmas just around the corner and a plethora of other aggravations that are costing you money, you may not have an abundance of cash to drop on a fancy dinner. That is why for this Thanksgiving, it is important to adhere to the most important of budgeteer commandments: One must fake it, until thy make it. So sit down, home skillet, because your budgeteer mama is about to rock your world with some Thanksgiving saving tips.



Birds of a feather, pretty mucheth taste the same

Generally, a turkey is going to be about 40 percent of the cost of your entire meal. Save money by buying a store-brand frozen turkey instead of a fresh bird.

 

Thou shall not cut corners ... Unless no one is looking


I’m not telling you to throw your granny’s Thanksgiving recipes to the wind, but there are a few places you can cut corners in your menu. For example, frozen and canned ingredients cost a lot less, so go through your recipes and see where you can sneak these in. Also, things like fancy potato recipes can easily be replaced by an instant side that will cost 80 percent less than having to make them from scratch. Some Thanksgiving veterans may gasp at this, but I like to think of it as a sign of respect. You wouldn’t go to a wedding dressed in white, so why make a side that shows up your turkey?

 

Honor thou basics

Save money by making your own Thanksgiving basics such as bread crumbs, whipped cream, and pie crusts. Whipped cream is just 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/3 cup or 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Pie crust just requires 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 2 sticks of unsalted butter. I think you can figure out bread crumbs.

 

Thou shall not shop at one store

I know you’re probably stressed out, but we don’t have time for that. Get on your game face, because it just got real! Sure, it may be more convenient to do all your shopping at one store, but the truth is, it’s not the cheapest. After making your list, look through all of the sales for all of your local stores. Determine which items are cheaper at which stores and develop a list for each of those stores.

 

Thou shall be one with thou smart phone

Do you hear angels singing? I do, because I just discovered this awesome app that my BFF Clark Howard recommended. It’s called Favado and it is totally free. It allows you to compare prices across your local stores and discover the best deals on the products you need. You see, not shopping at one store just got awesome. With this tool, you’re like a Thanksgiving gladiator. You can wear a cape; I won’t judge you.

 

Well, my dear budgeteers, hopefully this helps you get through the madness that is Thanksgiving. Remember, when it’s all said and done, Thanksgiving is just about being together with the ones you love ... Unless my mom is reading this, in which case, it’s all about the turkey.

 

Don’t forget to like me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BrittanyDenneyMcClure and follow me on Twitter @BudgetBrittany.