SIX WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!
Our daughter “Boo” told me last year that, for her, the Thanksgiving dinner shopping trip is the official start of the Christmas season! Hopefully your grocery shopping will be as enjoyable for your family as it is for ours. Last year I drove over to Seattle to be with my husband, who had a health crisis, at this exact time. He had been life flighted the night before, my girls and I did our Thanksgiving shopping together and got some stupendous bargains. It was fun, AND done, and I could leave them to handle Thanksgiving dinner without me.
I promised you last week that we’d share with you how we do our Thanksgiving dinner shopping.
Every year, when our Thanksgiving menu, and shopping list are completed, we take a morning to purchase the groceries. One local grocer traditionally has turkey priced as low as 59 cents a pound, when buying another fifty dollars worth of groceries. This grocer also has sale prices on other items like fresh cranberries, sweet potatoes, olives, pickles, cream cheese, sugar, flour, butter, and much more. We plan all of our shopping for this one store, we get great bargains and we get her done! It cuts down on the stress, and it works out magnificently for us.
If you have little ones you might find it more relaxing to shop without them. See if another mom will watch your kids for a couple hours while you complete this, in exchange for you offering a couple of hours to watch hers.
You may not choose to do it our way, but if you are buying a frozen turkey, you’ll need to buy it by early next week in order to allow sufficient time for thawing. Here are my hints on buying and roasting the perfect turkey.
We all would like our food prices to be as low today as they were in this ad from the 70’s. What we wouldn’t like is the paychecks we got in the 70’s. So all in all things are looking pretty good on the current Thanksgiving food shopping front.
Make your menu and shopping list for Thanksgiving now. Include large zipper type bags to store leftovers since they fit easily in the fridge and make cleanup easy.
With Thanksgiving coming up fast, cleaning out my refrigerator sat heavy on my mind last year. So much so that I actually had a crazy dream in which I arranged for the garbage man to come and tip the contents out of the refrigerator and into the garbage truck. In that dream, our refrigerator was so nice and clean, that I awoke with much disappointment to realize that I still had to complete that task!
We actually got the refrigerator cleaned in less than an hour, a couple of days later, to make room for the groceries we planned to buy. Tossing the expired or rarely used items, including the little condiment packages, the little tubs of dried up leftovers and cleaning the slimy lettuce and dried up limes from the bottom of the vegetable drawer. When we had all the shelves cleaned off, we covered them with “Glad Wrap Press and Seal,” which is easy to wipe off or remove and replace. A year later the fridge shelves are still covered with that easy to clean and replaceable plastic wrap.
IF your refrigerator has little experiments growing in it, or needs a garbage truck 😉 in order to be cleaned out, this is the week to do it.
Also, if you have a separate freezer, now is the time to do a quick clean out in order to fit in those holiday extras. I store my extra flour, cream cheese, butter as well as extra turkeys, hams and a number of other items in the freezer to help them last longer.
Don’t forget to check how clean your oven is in order to make sure it won’t smoke or catch fire when you cook your Thanksgiving fare or prepare to do other holiday baking. This was part of the week seven tips.
MY REALITY CHECK
Our Thanksgiving menu is set but we haven’t completed the shopping list or taken the time to check on the ingredients we already have on hand.
Last week there was time to fit in a shopping trip where I picked up a bunch of gifts on sale, and even was able to use a $15 off coupon. When they handed me my receipt, they also gave me another coupon for $5 off any purchase. I used it for a $4.99 item at a different Shopko store in town.
We had our family planning meeting which went pretty well, picked names for our Christmas Stocking exchange, and plan on constructing a unique gingerbread “house” this year.
The nightly kitchen habit is going pretty well and I have a refrigerator clean out on the agenda for this week. I’m still thinking of trying to paint the dining room. If it doesn’t happen this week, it’s not happening! 🙂
On week ten you were encouraged to start writing out your Christmas gift lists.
Week nine plans included a family meeting to make some decisions about the traditions and activities you and your family want to carry out together, and to make a start at organizing your calendar. It also included a reminder to make certain you have your tickets and reservations for Thanksgiving or Christmas travel. The “last weekend of October sales” were a reminder to start some Christmas shopping in stores or online. With these, you’re on your way toward an organized, relaxing Christmas!
Week eight had reminders to start a new kitchen cleaning habit and do a reality check.
Week seven encouraged you to check your oven and set up your outside lighting and more.
If you haven’t been following along, it’s okay. You can go back to the links above, to get started, or jump in right where you are.
Recheck your gift lists and see what you can buy or plan to buy soon. Mark off the stuff you’ve bought and save those receipts.
Next week we’ll talk about black Friday weekend shopping and cyber Monday preparation!
Marjie Briggs is a Consumer Scientist / Home Economist who regularly shares the best things to buy each month or season, as well as organizational tips.