Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving on a budget

November 22, 2012

I wanted to start off Thanksgiving with a special breakfast: cinnamon rolls. I know it is hard to believe but yes I actually woke up and got myself right to the kitchen. No cereal or frozen muffins for my kiddos today! Hurray for a quick coffee pot! I found a recipe on Pinterest for easy cinnamon rolls. I used a can of seamless crescent rolls. Spread butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon on it. Rolled it up, cut it, and put it in muffin tins. The glaze is powdered sugar, milk, and my father in law's homemade maple syrup. Yum!

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of all the yummy food. There are a lot of traditional dishes. As I planned our menu this year, I still tried to stick by the challenge to spend less money. Will Thanksgiving be ruined if I do not make a pumpkin pie? Do we really need to have so many side dishes? I am thankful that we have plenty to eat and very thankful that my husband is not deployed this year and we get to spend the day together. I want to show my kids that this holiday isn't about the food.... it is about family and appreciating all that we have. I think I may have spent around $25 for our feast and the rest is from ingredients that I already had at home.

Items that I bought: turkey, dinner rolls, stuffing, ceasar salad, cool whip, cake mix, evaporated milk (and items that I would have bought anyway such as milk, butter, sour cream). Items that I had already: potatoes from farmers market, packet of gravy mix although my hubby ended up making gravy out of the turkey drippings, homemade pickles, olives (I love black olives and always have some at home), home canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, french fried onions (I have half a container leftover from when we made mini meatloaves), cranberry sauce (I bought this several months ago when we had a "holiday" meal for no reason but then forgot to use the cranberry sauce), beer bread mix, and ingredients to make a dip for the beer bread. The point is that you can have a holiday meal and just plan the menu around what you have at home. There is no rule saying that you must make certain dishes.

My plan was to make spinach and artichoke dip with a container of fresh spinach. Well, that is not going to happen. My spinach is past its prime and I need to throw it out. Boooo. Do I need to run to the store? Nope. I am going to make do with what I have. I found a shaker of spinach dry mix from Tastefully Simple. I still have half a bottle of it because we preferred the bacon mix so we pushed this bottle to the back of the cupboard. Some cream cheese, sour cream, artichokes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese combined with my bottle of spinach dip mix and we were good to go.

So what does a $25 holiday meal look like? Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls, ceasar salad, pickles and olives, cranberry sauce, a jar of my parents' homemade christmas pickles (pickles that taste like spiced apples), beer bread, homemade spinach and artichoke dip, and pumpkin dump cake with cool whip.


  1. Seamless crescent rolls? Never heard of those. I need to get out more!

  2. The recipe called for regular crescent rolls and said to pinch the seams together. But when I got to the store they had seamless. Super easy.