Thanksgiving on a Budget

happy-thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Read this post before you pull your hair out and diminish your bank account. I have gathered various Turkey Day recipes to create a budget friendly menu that will please your wallet and all your guests.


Pesto Pinwheels (via pillsbury.com)

pesto pin

Green Bean Casserole (via bettycrocker.com)

green bean

Bacon-Garlic Mashed Potatoes (via myrecipes.com)

bacon pots

Herbed Apricot-Pecan Stuffing (via myrecipes.com)

apricot stuffing

Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce (via moneysavingmom.com)

cranberry

Mom’s Roast Turkey (via simplyrecipes.com)

turkey

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake (via goodcheapeats.com)

Pumpkin-Spice-Cheesecake


Tips for Budgeting Your Holiday Meal

  • Share the menu. Have other guests bring dishes so you are not stuck paying and making the entire meal.
  • Use the leftovers. Making meals with the leftovers after the holiday dinner will help save for the future week’s grocery shopping.
  • Think about your budget. Go through your shopping list and see where you can cut corners. Debate how much you really want to and can spend per serving. Do not forget to look at coupons.
  • Keep the menu simple yet tasty. You do not have to go all out with expensive or creative recipes and ingredients. Simple and traditional meals can be full of flavor and save you money.

Eatingwell.com and allyou.com also have money saving Thanksgiving menus to help you brainstorm a delicious and affordable holiday meal.

• Gobble Gobble •

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Crockpots Make the World Go ‘Round

Crockpots are not just for your grandma’s legendary beef stew anymore! These handy kitchen appliances are great for making inexpensive, easy and tasty meals. One super nifty thing about crockpots is that you can go about your day with errands, classes or work and come home to a fully cooked dish ready to be served. Great for all you busy ladies or gents out there.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes:

Crockpot Buffalo Chickenbuffalo

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 bottle Frank’s RedHot Wings Buffalo Sauce (12 oz.)
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Mix (1 oz.)
  • Pack of hamburger buns (optional)

Directions:

  • Cook chicken in crockpot on high for 3 hours (covered)
  • After 3 hours, drain juices from crockpot
  • Mix together Buffalo Sauce and Ranch Seasoning Mix
  • Pour mixture over chicken, and cook on high for 30 more minutes (covered) or until done.
  • Serve as whole chicken breasts or shred and serve on buns.

Click here for this recipe and some other crockpot meals.

Here are a few other recipes to try:

You can also find plenty more by browsing Pinterest! If you do not have a Pinterest account, I highly recommend signing up for one. You can look through a variety of recipes, DIY projects, fashion ideas, hair and make-up tutorials, etc.

• Get Crockin’ •

Grilled Cheese, Please!

Now, I’m a student and a waitress so most of the time when I get a chance to cook at home it will either be late after my shift/class or quickly before it starts, so fast and easy meals make my world go ’round. One of the simplest, least expensive and delicious meals to make is the, oh so legendary.. Grilled Cheese!  Well, my grilled cheese is nothing like you have ever had before.

I introduced to you the Chipotle Kickin’ Grilled Cheese:

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Servings (2):

4 slices of bread of choice (I used whole wheat) – $2.39 for a loaf

4 slices of Muenster cheese – $2.88 for a pack of 11 slices

2 thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts – $6.90 for 4 breasts

2 tbsp. of chipotle sauce (I used a Taco Bell brand) – $1.98 for a bottle

Butter (your preference)

1 lb. of broccoli – $1.68 (optional)

Minced Garlic (optional)

Directions (and I am not a chef so play with this however you’d like):

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Prepare chicken however you like. I like to mix a variety of spices on the chicken before baking.

3. Bake chicken for about 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink.

4. Once chicken is ready, heat a pan to medium heat and coat with butter and minced garlic for extra flavor.

5. Layer a slice of bread with 2 slices of cheese, a tbsp. of chipotle sauce, one chicken breast, and the top layer of bread.

6. Place in pan and let cook on each side until the bread is nice and golden brown.

7. Repeat for next sandwich.

8. Enjoy!

I paired my sandwiches with some freshly steamed broccoli to add some veggies to my meal but, feel free to pair with any side of your liking. Chips? A salad? Soup? Go crazy!

A lot of these ingredients are common household groceries, so play around with what you have. Sautee some onions to add some more flavor. Switch up the cheese. No chicken, try deli turkey slices and maybe some bacon. Either way, this is a low-cost, easy, and tasty meal that you are sure to enjoy.