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Frugal Thanksgiving Ideas: Living Simple

Updated on June 3, 2014

The Spirit of the Holidays

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? If you answered spending quality time with loved ones, then you have taken the first step towards having a frugal Thanksgiving meal. Remember as you read this that the most important point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks and to spend time with loved ones. It is not about money or finding out who can spend the most money on a lavish meal.

If you have a large family, or a ton of friends who come over for Thanksgiving, then you can be looking at a large cost for that meal. Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that might cut down on that meal cost.

Thanksgiving will be here soon. It is time to start planning, so let’s get started!

Traditional meal!
Traditional meal! | Source

Making That Meal

Everyone loves to eat the traditional turkey meal, but the preparation is another matter altogether. Turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and on and on we go, and if you have a large family you are looking at a major expenditure of cash. Let’s see if we can’t cut down on that expense a bit.

· Shop ahead with coupons: From now until the week before Thanksgiving, keep on the lookout for coupons that might save you money. When you see a coupon for something you will need for your dinner, clip it and go get the item now. Don’t wait until November 20th to do your shopping. Keep an eye out for turkeys on sale now, as well as hams. Buy frugally now and freeze them until Thanksgiving.

· Bake your own pies! What does a pie cost at the grocery store? Most likely at least $10; you can bake a couple pies for that money, and chances are excellent that your pies are better than any store-bought pie.

· Have a potluck! Times are tough for everyone, so why not split the cost of the meal with everyone. Send everyone a list of items and have them choose one that they will be bringing to the dinner. This is a time-honored tradition and it makes everyone feel as though they are contributing to the meal preparation and cost.

· Save money after the meal by taking advantage of those leftovers. There are some great casseroles waiting for the creative chef, and make sure you hold onto that turkey carcass because you are looking at some great turkey soup.

Decorating Ideas

It is always nice to have the house decorated in Fall colors for the Thanksgiving meal, but my goodness, decorations cost money! Well, they don’t have to, and with a little thought and creativity you can provide the perfect holiday ambience for your friends and loved ones.

· Decorate using nature! Gather up some autumn leaves, place them in a bowl as a liner, and then put nuts or fruit in the bowl.

· Pine cones are always a great centerpiece; you can also use pumpkins or gourds in the home for a nice festive touch.

· Dried hydrangea leaves and flowers are always beautiful; pick some, tie a string around them, and put them in a vase.

· Pick-up sticks! Yes, that’s right, use small branches from your trees or shrubs, but them in a vase, and you will be amazed how great they look.

· Great craft idea for kids: have them make placemats for the dishes. You can follow these instructions if you don’t have any ideas of your own.

· Another great craft idea for the kids: have them make turkeys using paper sacks. Here are some simple instructions to follow that will give the kids ownership of part of the preparations.

· Go to the thrift store and shop around for Thanksgiving decorations. Many times you can find everything you want for pennies on the dollar.

Homemade decorations are beautiful
Homemade decorations are beautiful | Source

Remember What Is Truly Important

Yes, Living Simple is about saving money, but it is also about returning to a simpler way of living. The Thanksgiving meal is about breaking bread with loved ones; it should not be about a lavish spread and going into debt.

Toss some ideas around with family! Tell them that you are into frugal living and get suggestions from them. Once you have planted the seed you might be surprised how everyone else will get on board.

I am reminded of a time, back in 1984, when we were having our first Thanksgiving after adopting our son. He was one month old as Thanksgiving arrived, and we had invited our best friends to our home to share the celebration with them.

We had gone out and purchased food enough for twenty people, and gone around buying decorations so our house would look just right. Little did we know that a rare November snowstorm was about to hit Western Washington. It began snowing about four a.m. that Thanksgiving day, and by nine, with the turkey in the oven, eight inches of snow had fallen and the power went out.

Our friends arrived by noon and by that time the carefully-planned meal was a complete disaster. No problem! We piled into the four-wheel drive, drove into town where a fast food restaurant was open, and we all sat down to a great meal of hamburgers and fries and had the time of our lives, laughing and sharing in each other’s love.

Those lessons do not go away! Thanksgiving is all about love and has nothing to do with money.

Life frugally…..and have a wonderfully frugal and enjoyable Thanksgiving!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, you have me laughing....this isn't a new one...I hope you didn't just get this alert. I thought you would weigh in on the freedom hub, but instead you are on an oldie but a goodie. LOL thank you my dear; I'm just a writer, as are you, and we are both doing our thing.

      hugs my friend,

      bill

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      OMG, now he's writing about crafts and cooking. Is there no limit to what you are capable of? :-) My friend, every day is a new day when the alert comes to say you have published again. Always inspiring and fun to read. You are a master of the common language that touches people. Who wouldn't want a frugal Thanksgiving after reading this? Great job sir! Again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, that is very nice of you; thank you my friend! I think I just missed your most recent hub. I'll try to get back to see it after I take care of customers today.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Jeannie, I can hardly wait for turkey!

      Thank you!

    • go-barbara-go profile image

      go-barbara-go 5 years ago

      Great ideas I could surely use for the holidays. Even if we didn't get to celebrate thanksgiving, the ideas you shared are generally applicable to all occasions, those that require food preparation.

      Thank you ones again. I'm a billybuc fanatic and I would certainly count so many years to be where you are. Very inspiring.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      This is great advice... and now I am really hungry for turkey dinner! Voted up and useful!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, great suggestions....especially the last part about buying something because it has been loved. Beautiful thoughts....thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Very practical suggestions--I pick up stem ware at local thrift shops all the time--it helps--we also have a wonderful shop that sells older linens--sometimes I can find hand stitched pieces and I love those because they have been loved

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Practical, thanks for that addition to the discussion. Our local store does the same thing and it really is a great incentive. Thank you for the share my friend!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Excellent tips! I like that our grocery store has a rewards program geared for Thanksgiving that starts in early October. Every time we buy groceries, our total goes towards a gift certificate we can use to purchase a turkey or other Thanksgiving essentials.

      I'm going to pass this along. Voted up, useful and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, it is always nice to see you my friend. I appreciate you greatly and I am honored by your visit. Thank you.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      A wonderful hub packed with helpful suggestions! Decorating one's home with things offered by Mother Nature add a natural beauty to the home-decor. Potluck is undoubtedly very handy for those who want to celebrate a frugal Thanksgiving day. My family adopted potluck for Diwali festival for years - we bring sweets and home food to my grandmother's house and we all relish them together. Once again, a well-written hub!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Kathy!

      So glad these helped; the natural decorations really are quite lovely....anyway I think they are. :) Thank you!

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips, as usual! It's my turn to host a big family dinner this Thanksgiving. I am definitely going to use some of your suggestions for decorating, and also will recruit people to bring some of the side dishes or desserts. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, thank you dear! Have you done a hub recently? I don't think so....I will check. Have a great weekend and sending hugs and love across the Pond.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      What a great hub once again Billy my dear friend.

      I am saving in with my favourite hubs in Word ;thanks for sharing and here's to a great day for you and Bev.

      Take care

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, you understand very well what is most important in life. This hub is for the millions out there who believe money buys happiness......and that's a fool's quest to think so.

      Thank you my dear!

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 5 years ago

      Well Bill, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but your ideas are great for other occasions too! I loved the decorating tips but mostly I agree that all you need is your family and love. We have spent Christmas eating sandwiches before and we had the best of times because we were together and we laughed a lot. Happy early Thanksgiving my friend :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes indeed, grandmapearl, those were great times growing up and I am doing my part to bring them back.. Thank you so much for the share!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Bravo Billy! I applaud the idea of getting back to a simpler life. Things have become so complicated and expensive. You have some great ideas for making the holiday a more personal expression of Thanksgiving, rather than a commercial one.

      Some of my best memories of Thanksgiving involve helping my Mom with simple decorations using leaves and acorns we had collected, or using construction paper to make place cards for everyone. Voted Up across the board and shared.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I will indeed, Robin, and thank you so much!

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 5 years ago from New York

      Guy goes to diners, drive-ins and dives (the best places, really) and gets to see how the recipes are created and then shares them online. There are so many great ones and make a fantastic holiday menu.

      As for friends on the hub, yes, agreed.

      Keep writing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the website Robin! I love this time of year and I love all the hand-crafted ideas for decorating....and I love friendships on HubPages. :)

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 5 years ago from New York

      I have always made a practice to create my own cards with beautiful wishes inscribed on each one. I also create my own place cards with lovely wishes on each. And centerpieces are always fun to make. Being homespun (frugal) doesn't have to happen just because we are in an economic crisis. Living simple is actually a huge and wonderful practice.

      If anyone is crafty, they can go to the Martha Stewart site for ideas or Cricut. And for recipes, http://www.foodnetwork.com/guy-fieri/recipes/index...

      Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lucid, when I mention the stick thing to some friends they look at me like I've lost my mind, but it really does make a lovely table decoration. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No, healthy, we didn't make that one, but it is similar to the one we will make in early November.

      I'm glad you liked the tips; thanks for the visit.

    • LucidDreams profile image

      LucidDreams 5 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida

      Hey Billy

      Great hub and just in time for people getting prepared for Thanksgiving. I like the idea of picking up sticks for decoration. Sometimes I do this exact thing and surprise my wife with a homeade flower arrangement.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      What excellent tips starting with the one using coupons and start looking now. I usually wait until the last minute and spend way too much. I also love the idea to make your own decorations. There are so many beautiful flowers and leaves in the Fall.Did you make the decoration in the picture?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I'll bet you could make some great placemats with the pressed flowers....just sayin'

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent advice for a frugal holiday. I especially like the suggestion of having the children make the placemats. Thanks for these helpful tips. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sunnie, we had a tree that was similar, and I still remember it decades later. Great memory! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, thank you so much! I don't do well with praise but I really appreciate your kind words and the message in your words.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I will indeed keep writing; I can't imagine not writing. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      House, welcome and thank you! We really need to get back to some old-fashioned values in this country.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur; much-appreciated.

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      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      Wonderful hub Billy with many great ideas! Our first Christimas Tree was made out of pinecones and home made ornaments. I will forever remember that little tree. Thank you.

      Sunnie

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      I loved the message of this hub bb and your heartwarming story of your sons first Thanksgiving. It is so easy to get caught up in the consumer side of things and to forget what's important. Your hub was an excellent reminder. As always, a pleasure to poke around your hubs for your words of wisdom.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hi Bill,

      Great ideas for a frugal thanksgiving. Celebrations are all about love and not money. Keep writing these wonderful hubs, my friend.

      Voted up, interesting.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Oh yes, thanksgiving is all about love and not the money. Great tips and advice. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, in addition, we don't gain five pounds in one sitting. :) Thank you my friend!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Wonderfully said, it's about breaking bread with loved ones and friends. I am all for the simple meal. It leaves more time to chat with each other and it is way less stressful. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, my dear friend, that hub will be out within days. Thank you for reading a hub that really doesn't' apply to you....now that is loyalty for sure. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Btrbell, you are very welcome! I appreciate you taking the time to visit once again.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, many times what I say falls under the category....do as I say, not as I do. For me, Christmas is when the budget goes out the window.

      Thank you!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill, A great insight into how to truly embrace the holiday without going O.T.T . We don't have Thanksgiving in Ireland but Christmas is very much celebrated, so look forward to that one from you Bill!! Congrats on great tips, ideas and your links to other hubs excellent!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 5 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      thank you for all the great ideas. We are always looking for ways to save money!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Sorry my friend; historically on Thanksgiving I have thrown the budget out the window.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Barbara! I appreciate you taking the time on a Sunday night to comment.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      I agree with you 100%. Holidays are about seeing the family. These are great ideas.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I know, right? Totally not something you would expect from me. But I do believe in Living Simply and this tied in with that, so I thought I might as well give it a go. Thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll get back to normal soon. :)

      Peace to you always my friend,

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Hi realhousewife - oh, I'm sorry, it's you, billybuc!!! LOL I'm kidding. For a minute I thought I was reading realhousewife, as it was so different than your normal publishings to start off with. But then, reading on further with the great advice on a frugal Thanksgiving, I knew it was you writing here on living the simple life. Really great ideas expressed here, and I love the ending of this hub. Just being grateful to be together is a real blessing no matter what one is eating! Awesome. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      B......the community idea is a great one; you've given me an idea my friend and I thank you for that. I'll have to see if I can make it a reality.

      My mother made the same announcement two years after my dad died; a part of her, quite frankly, died with him, and holidays were never quite a same after that.

      Thanks so much for sharing some of your experiences here. Much appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Pamela! I'm surprised I thought this far in advance to tell you the truth. I already have a Christmas hub ready as well. Talk about organized! LOL Sounds like a great Thanksgiving in the making for you and I'm very happy for you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! Fall colors for decorations are the only way to go for this boy; leaves and sticks, and as silly as that sounds it is beautiful!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I love Thanksgiving and we will have all of our children and grandchildren this year. We are excited about that. We won't any nieces and nephews this time. We have a fairly set menu every year and everyone who lives near brings food. We all make pies also. Turkeys go on sale about 2 weeks before Thanksgiving, so we wait for the sales. The family time together is so much fun. I don't decorate too much and I already have some decorations anyway. I always shop sales and I use coupons to cut costs. Cleaning up the afterwards is the hardest part, and most people help. This year Christmas will be much quieter. Very good hub to get people planning ahead.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Family and friends makes Thanksgiving so special to me. We always have turkey and all the trimmings. I do my own baking and i use the same decorations year after year. I buy my turkey when they are on sale and freeze it. You have some great ideas. I love fall colors..Thank you for sharing...

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Billy, all good suggestions and sentiments. Up, Useful, Interesting, Beautiful, and shared.

      The potluck idea could be expanded into a community event. Years ago I lived in a small city that had an interfaith organization that included a variety of Christian churches plus Jews, Muslims, and miscellaneous other religions. Everyone agreed on the goodness and meaningfulness of Thanksgiving. So the organization sponsored an annual on or near (I forget which) Thanksgiving Day everybody welcome gathering. I don't recall the details, but if I were on the planning team of such an event, I'd say to make it a no obligation potluck (you're welcome and encouraged to come and eat whether you bring a pot of anything or not) and to particularly invite those living in a homeless shelter and/or needing the help of food stamps or a food bank.

      My mom made traditional Thanksgiving dinner every year that my three siblings and I were growing up, back in the days when pie shells were make from scratch and when eggs were prepared by hand with an egg beater or a whisk. It was always a wonderful meal. When we kids were grown and living far from home, my parents started and ran a used books little shop and mail order business. Years later my father died from a heart attack, and I came home to help my mother in the shop. We worked hard to stay in the black, and we had to live frugally. At Thanksgiving, my mom would say her cooking Thanksgiving dinner days were over, and we would go out to eat. A few times we forgot to make reservations and ended up driving 30 or 40 miles away and eating maybe blintzes or falafels in a Jewish restaurant. The day after Thanksgiving, my mother would buy a whole turkey, and we would put everything but the wings, neck, legs, and innards in a canning pot, cover with water, and boil for 45 minutes; then we'd add the rest of the bird and boil another 45 minutes; then we'd slice up the meat, put it in Seal-a-Meal bags, and stack them in the freezer compartment of the fridge.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Karen; it took us about five minutes of moaning before we realized that the food wasn't important. Five minutes isn't' bad, right? :) I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Nice one Billy! I love the shout out for coupons. And the home made decorations are great ideas too. It was great how that all worked out for your Thanksgiving dinner and that you kept your eye on the importance of friends and being together over the perfect home cooked holiday meal. Voted up and awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I took my son to Burger King yesterday for an impromptu lunch, and I was blown away by how much stuff cost. When did inflation happen?????

      Thanks buddy, and I'll have that Christmas list out soon for everyone to look at.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      You're just covering Thanksgiving early so that you can devote three months to what you want everyone to get you for Christmas! lol

      Some great ideas provided here! All except the fast food restaurant. (Talk about going through a 401K early with today's prices!) Again, another great "back to basics" hub! Great Job, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you Glimmer! It's madness for one person to do all the cooking for Thanksgiving, not to mention very costly. I appreciate the visit as always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nina, I'm thinking you are lucky to have that broken oven. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I hope some of these ideas work for you. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, I'm excited I had one you had never heard of; that might be a first! :) Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Radcliff, thank you for the visit! I don't know about your family, but mine never created the perfect meal. LOL but we did have fun!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I was rather proud of myself for writing this BEFORE the holiday! LOL Usually I think of these things after the fact, like that would do me any good. :) Thank you my friend; I hope you had a great weekend in Florida!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Right on the money about doing a potluck and making your own pies. I am boggled by how expensive pies and baked good in general are at the local grocery store. We always host Thanksgiving and the unwritten rule is that everyone has to bring a side. It's way too expensive and way too much work. Great tips! Voted up!

    • nina64 profile image

      nina64 5 years ago from chicago, Illinois

      Hello billybuc, I'm sitting here reading your hub and contemplating my Thanksgiving meal. Lucky for me, my oven is broken. Maybe burgers and fries don't sound like a bad idea (just kidding)!!!!! I love your suggestions and maybe I will take some of your suggestions under advisement. Great hub and voted up!!!

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      I love using natural decorations, but I've never thought to seek out dried hydrangeas. Probably because they seem to be a spring flower around here. Great ideas, as always!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 5 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Some great tips as usual, Bill! Making bone broth from the turkey carcass is an excellent way to boost your immune system while you create a delicious soup with the leftovers. I also like the pot luck idea. We tend to spend too much time in the kitchen creating that "perfect" dinner when it's really about enjoying each other.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      billybuc...How to save a dime is always a good thing. Coupons really do make a h u g e difference. Although I mainly shop for myself there are times when I do large shopping like at the holidays and using the pennies off coupons helps so much.

      Using sticks and pinecones...they both work for me. Bringing nature inside.

      And this is a good time to be reading this since the holiday season will soon kickoff.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, I had the feeling this hub wouldn't really help you, but I appreciate you stopping by. I love using natural things for decorations; for me my favorite is bare branches in a vase. Not sure why but there is a stark beauty to it.

      Thank you my friend; enjoy your Sunday!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Love this hub ^_^ I think I follow just about everything on here... except the potluck. Thanksgiving is spent with my husbands family (Korean) and I'm the only one who can cook a traditional thanksgiving meal... so it's always been my holiday to host ^_^ which is fine with me because I just LOVE thanksgiving ^_^ As for a table centerpiece I always make a bed of bright autumn leaves and put a big pile of apples on it. Usually colorful ones like Gala (which get turned into pies shortly after thanksgiving is over) Voted up and shared!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Frugal, thank you! Food, football and family...the Three F's of Thanksgiving! Great holiday!

    • FrugalFatCouple profile image

      FrugalFatCouple 5 years ago from California

      Thanksgiving is my husbands favorite holdiay. Great food and great football. The way he waits for the meal and starts talking about it MONTHS in advance - you would think I never fed the guy. He brags to his clients about Thanksgiving Holiday.....and they always say to him...'well we KNOW you love this holiday'~! I like your idea about the Pine Cones...and things 'natural' for decorations. Baking your own pies is a MUST. Because of all the store specials if you don't over buy...you can actually put on a Feast for very little money. Great Hub love it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha....I'm laughing, only because those will be coming early next week. I've got your back friend of mine!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, if you could offer frugal tips for Christmas, it sure would help this single mom!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark! I'm just not into the big waste of money that happens during the holidays.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Of course these are great tips Bill and the main message of love and living simple shines through!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you LaThing! I really do love decorating with leaves, sticks and pine cones....and they really do look great.

      I appreciate the visit my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, it was definitely one to remember; we so rarely get snow and that was a huge snowfall....great meal! LOL

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      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Wonderful ideas, and for one of my favorite holiday meal! I love to go 'all out' during thanksgiving, and your tips will help to plan it even better. Love the idea of dacorating with Nature! Thanks Billy, I am glad you are doing this series..... Wonderful! Voting up and awesome!

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      Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love the memory of the snow on Thanksgiving...I bet I'd have had a blast if I could have met up with you for a happy meal:) LOL LOL

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alocsin, LOL...yes, that is the most frugal way to spend Thanksgiving! Thanks for that laugh and I'm glad you enjoyed my suggestions!

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      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love your frugal tips for one of the more expensive holiday celebrations. Your decorating ideas actually work for the fall, even before Thanksgiving. Of course, the easiest way to save money at Thanksgiving is to eat at somebody else's house ;) Voting this Up and Useful.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, no surprise at all that you would enjoy this! The leaves and pine cones really do look great as centerpieces, so much better than crap bought at Walmart! :) Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha! Years ago I spent Thanksgiving in North Dakota with relatives, and that was the first time I had seen branches in a vase and it was really cool looking. Ever since then I have done the same. Glad you enjoyed this; have a great day my friend!

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      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Great ideas, Bill! I do bake my own pies, but never thought of decorating with Nature! Shame on me, she who tries to live as green as possible!

      I look forward to this Thanksgiving and will implement many of your awesome ideas!

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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great job, Billy! I especially like sharing the tradition by providing a piece of the meal by bringing it along to dinner. Naturally, I also favor the centerpiece and decorations coming directly from nature itself. Awesome and up.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Starstream, exactly my point at the end. It is all about the bounty of family and friends; everything else is window dressing as far as I'm concerned. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Susan, I hooked up with a big family when Bev and I joined together...there is a special energy in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, and it is a joy to behold. Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Joseph; I'm just going to keep saying my thing in hopes that more will listen. I appreciate you buddy; have a great Sunday!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Susan! Turkey, when on sale, is one of the great buys for the winter months. So many future meals from one bird!

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      Dreamer at heart 5 years ago from Northern California

      Let's all remember to be thankful for the many bounties of goodness we share with our family and friends. Yes, the food and sharing is good too!

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      Susan Holland 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      Bill, I have a big family, so we always do the potluck. What is fun is when we are all in the kitchen together. It is a hoot to watch. I love the idea of going outside to collect decorations. I used to do that as a kid, but as an adult it just never occurs to me... Aww... the loss of childhood innocence. Life could be so much simpler if I could retain some of that.

      Thanks for writing this. Lots of memories for the baby sister of 8 - I didn't used to have to cook at all for these meals. I can't get away with that anymore. LOL

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      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      The year is wrapping up faster than a downturn in this economy. As always, you put family and frugal tips above those 1 percenters, that depend on us by buying and expending on their investments. Freedom in 2012 and beyond started wiithout delay. You are doing a good job Billy. I applaud your efforts and creative mind to get us back into those simple and joyful moments that our great parents talked about.

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      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Turkeys started going on sale here for Thanksgiving this weekend as we celebrate in October. I'll be stocking up for the winter as we eat turkey quite often during the colder season. I like all of your ideas here.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, that is very exciting! Just think....whatever you do will become a tradition that may well be passed down for many years. I think that is pretty cool....your own family tradition started by you and your loved ones. How great is that? Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, I just don't understand spending money on Thanksgiving decorations....they are so easy to make from natural materials....how do I know? Because if I can make them they must be easy! :) Thank you Donnah!

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      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Lovely ideas here Bill. I am looking forward to starting our own family tradition this year, with our first ever Thanksgiving - I can't wait!

      Thanks for the tips! :)