Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas -- Several Frugal Ways (Part II)

Hopefully, you've read the earlier post for budget-saving Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. How about some more ideas?

*Make your Christmas presents -- in the kitchen. Like these recipes from Country Living magazine.

If you're drooling already, recipe's here -- makes a nice Thanksgiving dessert, too.

Tins (from discount stores, dollar stores -- or the thrift shop) keep items fresh and in good shape.  (Which means you could make some of these now, like this Christmas cake! ) While you're at it:

*Start a new tradition, foodwise. It could be as simple as brussels sprouts on the Thanksgiving table (something Daughter #1 started at our house), or as elaborate as a Sachertorte, a deep chocolate cake fresh from Vienna.

*Another possibility: a fancy-pants dinner -- but prepared at home, not out to an elaborate restaurant. Even if you serve lobster and steak, even if you pay full price, it will be less expensive.
      For decades, our Christmas Eve dinner has been seven fish dishes, from an Italian custom celebrating the seven sacraments. (You know -- birth, baptism, marriage, etc etc.) I budget for it throughout the year -- and pick up sale items. (Like the jumbo shrimp I just bought from Sprouts: $6.99/lb, and the cans of lobster bisque found at a discount store: a measly dollar each.)
     Last year's menu is here.  This year's menu will be coming up at the Christmas Goodies can sign up to follow it by e-mail, or become a follower.

*Sew something -- quick. Unless you're really fast, it would be difficult to whip something up for Thanksgiving. (If you want to try, go here -- a few blocks for pillows or placemats should stitch up quickly.)
     There's still plenty of time to do a Christmas project. Like these free pattern links, courtesy of McCall's Quilting. (You'll have to open an account -- but it's free.) Use them for your own decorating, or give them as gifts.

P.S. A Hanukkah wall hanging is included in the links, too.

*Here's an even faster idea: choose a specialty fabric and make napkins! Any good fabric shop will have an interesting selection of pumpkin, Pilgrim, snowman and Santa prints -- and many are on sale during Black Friday weekend! One yard of fabric can make 8 napkins. (Cut 9" x 10" rectangles, turn the edges over, and quickly stitch by hand or machine.)  For more ideas, try A Thrifty Mom in Boise's comments and instructions.
*The same fabric can be used to cover your existing pillows for home dec accents -- then used for other purposes after the holidays. (A yard can be wrapped around the pillow, with the ends of all four corners knotted together in back.)
     Or buy pillow covers: as little as a few bucks each (and free shipping!) on Amazon.

I ordered this and  'Merry Christmas' above for our house: 4.95 total, including shipping.

Reading about other people's plans for the holidays will give you ideas, too. Like this one, from Diary of A Stay at Home Mom.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.  Relax and enjoy...

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