Thanksgiving Meal on a Tight Budget

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 0 Comments A + a -

ith my tight budget (burdened more by my teens’ legal fees lately), I have less money to spend on extras like holiday meals. Lavish Thanksgiving will not be served for Diaz’s meal this year. However, we can still—and should—feast a little bit. We just had to play scavenger hunt in our pantry. The menu I came up with help us have at least six servings of food with plenty of leftovers.

Making Thanksgiving Meal on a Tight Budget 

  1. Cook what you have. The dishes I picked are according to what I already had in hand. They cover some flavor of a Thanksgiving spread. I have mashed potatoes from scratch, pumpkin spice cake, butternut squash soup, and beef-stuffing meat loaf. For the side, I prepared an untraditional Korean dish—mung bean sprouts with sesame. 
  2. Cut corners. I used some recipes I found online. I do not have all the ingredients but I tweaked to accommodate for what I lack as I learned not to be a slave to a recipe. I cut corners when I have to. 
  3. Skip the wine. Wine will not be served this holiday because the last time (was it Christmas 2013?) the leftover wine “evaporated” overnight. I am still not sure who witnessed the speedy evaporation—my teen son or daughter. Anyway, with no wine, I spend even less this holiday. We will have water to drink. It does not cost and it does not evaporate as fast. 

 As I have my teens who are literally physically stronger than I am, I asked for their help. My daughter baked the cake, and my son, well, maybe he will help clean up. Maybe.

Here's what we made.  There are "teen-tested, mom-Carin approved," except for the soup.  It is still slow cooking.

Meat Loaf with Stuffing Mix

Mashed Potato

Korean Sesame Mung Bean Sprouts

pumpkin spice cake so easy fitness blog
The four-ingredient Pumpkin Spice cake recipe.
I had to add melted white chocolate and cinnamon
with the two-ingredient cake recipe.

Thansksgiving Meal Tight Budget
We are having our Thanksgiving meal early.
Nobody says we couldn't.

Butternut Squash Soup in the making.  I decided to start ahead
and have hot soup by tomorrow.


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