Great Ways to Host a Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many are looking forward to spending time with their friends and family, all while enjoying their favourite foods, drinks and desserts. The truth of the matter is, amidst all that wonderful gratitude, bonding and eating, hosting thanksgiving can put a real dent in your finances. Between the cost of decorations, dessert, the main and the sides and even the beverages, hosting Thanksgiving can leave your wallet feeling less than grateful.

Luckily, there are ways to host a frugal Thanksgiving dinner, all while keeping it memorable and delicious.

Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

Make Your Own Decorations

Rather than going out and spending an inordinate amount of money on thanksgiving decorations, make your own. Thanksgiving decorations can consist of inexpensive items or things you can find around your house already. Things like fallen leaves, small gourds and even pie pumpkins work well as table décor. In fact, you can even hollow out the pie pumpkin to make dessert and place the empty pumpkin on the table with a lit candle inside.

Table setting made with everything found around the house
Its easy to set a Thanksgiving centerpiece on a budget

Shop Creatively

Rather than going out and spending an inordinate amount of money on thanksgiving decorations, make your own. Thanksgiving decorations can consist of inexpensive items, or things you can find around your house already. Things like fallen leaves, small gourds and even pie pumpkins work well as table décor. In fact, you can even hollow out the pie pumpkin to make dessert and place the empty pumpkin on the table with a lit candle inside.  

Make It a Potluck

A potluck dinner gives lots of options and makes for less work.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a potluck like holiday to begin with, so it’s not uncommon to have your guests bring at least one dish to contribute. Rather than taking on all the work and expense yourself, a potluck thanksgiving saves you money, makes sure that every guest has a dish they love and lessens your work load. Just make sure to keep a running tally of what everyone is bringing and ensure there is a variety in the dishes. Otherwise, you could end up with an abundance of different variations of pumpkin pie and absolutely no side dishes. 

Get Creative with Leftovers

A big Thanksgiving dinner can create enough leftovers for many meals to come, but you may find yourself getting sick of turkey sandwiches. Using the turkey carcass to create a delicious turkey stew or soup is a great way to repurpose some of your leftovers and they freeze well too for future meals. Stretching the meal out to serve future meals helps to save a lot of money.

Hosting a frugal Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, as long as you make your own decorations, shop creatively, make it a potluck and get creative with your leftovers, Thanksgiving will not only be delicious, but it will also be inexpensive. Get ready to gobble up your delicious and frugal Thanksgiving dinner and make even your wallet feel grateful

Flipp for Early Thanksgiving Deals

We are almost at the end of September, which means another holiday is just around the corner. Save the hassle of last-minute grocery shopping with these early Thanksgiving deals. Prepare some of your meals ahead of time so you can spend more time with family.

If you are hosting a dinner, it is best to be prepared, if not, make a delicious dish to bring along with you.

Early Thanksgiving Deals

No Frills – Valid – September 14, 2017 – September 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Deals

No Frills have all the fixings. Turkeys, sides, and pies, oh my!

Food Basics – Valid – September 14, 2017 – September 20, 2017

It doesn’t always have to be fresh, pick up a few cans of vegetables to have on hand for any meal.

No Turkey dinner is complete without cranberries, gravy, and stuffing. Take the easy way out and make it Stove Top. Until Wednesday, you can also pick up a turkey for $.97/lb.

Bulk Barn – Valid – September 14, 2017 – September 27, 2017

It is the time of the year when many began the baking for the fall and winter holidays. Bulk Barn has some Flash Sales happening at the moment that you don’t want to miss out on.

Many of the items will make snacktimes easier and you can get an assortment of all of your favourites.

Save even more with the coupons. One expires on September 20, 2017, and the other is good until September 27, 2017.




Downloaded the Flipp app and don’t miss out on savings and cash back. Download Flipp from Google Play or the App Store and start saving.

If you haven’t started using the coupons and rebates with the app, you can find some helpful information with Flipp’s Guide to Rebates. Print off your coupons to match them with deals.

Don’t forget to add all your loyalty cards to Flipp so you always have them with you.


Decorating For Fall with Hallmark

It is another beautiful day here in Toronto. I am so thankful that we have been blessed with some warm days as Thanksgiving. It has given me the incentive to get ready for Thanksgiving. One of my traditions is changing out the decor accents every season. Do you do this? Thanks to thrifting and my love of Hallmark, I have items stored for every season. I decorate for Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Spring, Canada Day, and Summer. I may be a bit of a nut that way, but I can remember my mother doing the same. It made things seem ready for the season right at home.

Fall is my favourite season and it is so nice to bring in some of those fall colours. It is amazing to have the oranges, golds and reds in the house! With Thanksgiving happening this weekend I also love what Hallmark Canada sent the team this year to help us celebrate the holiday.  Just take a peek at a few of these quality items that I will be able to use year after year. That is the great thing about Hallmark!


My daughters favourite piece is this large fabric pumpkin. Don’t you just love the herringbone fabric! Mine was this Medium Candle holder. Did you notice Hallmark’s wax-like votive candles. They are flameless, no flames to worry about.  I love it next to my fireplace.


We were also sent a beautiful autumn oven mitt and these adorable  Thanksgiving inspired tea towels. I can not wait to use them for our Thanksgiving meal! Tell me do you change up the decor at your house.

hallmark tea towels

Here is how I change up the decor.

  1. I check out what I have stored away in the store room; I have fake flowers and decor for every season. I pull out my favourites.
  2. I add a piece or two each season that way it does not break the bank.

For us, doing these two things allow us to enjoy the beautiful decor of the season. Do change things up in your home each season? Let me know in the comments if you do. These little changes in our home are one of the things I am thankful for. What are you thankful right now?




How to do Thanksgiving Dinner for Under $40


For the last few years, I have been hosting Thanksgiving dinner here at home, and I love when there are lots of leftovers. It means I don’t have to cook for a few days. One of the things that have always concerned me is how much we spend on a holiday meal. Did you know you can do a nice Thanksgiving dinner for under $40.00 The meal can serve 4-6 people.

Here is how to do Thanksgiving dinner for under $40.00:

Check out your local flyers, your favorite recipe sites, and look at what coupons you may have on hand. I always check for coupons and deals on my Flipp app. If you are a regular reader of mine, I am sure this app is on your phone.

Decide on your menu and make your shopping list. I love that I can make my list right on my Flipp app. It allows me to carry my shopping list with me wherever I go so there are no mistakes made.


Here is what I will be serving this Thanksgiving:

  • Roast turkey ( yes I do a whole Turkey). Did you know you can get a great price on turkey at Walmart Canada right now? Because of the price of the turkey there I decided I would do all my shopping there.
  • Honey Glazed Carrots. ( we love these)
  • Sweet potatoes and marshmallows
  • garden salad
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing ( I add a bit of cranberries to my Stove Top)
  • Pickles
  • Rolls
  • Apple Pie with Cool Whip
  • Apple Cider
  • Gravy

This allowed me to use coupons and price match as well check out any deals that Walmart had. One of the things I do, before I shop, is make my shopping list and checked it twice. I always check my cupboards before I leave the house, so I am not purchasing duplicates. This year there was no need to purchase things like flour, eggs, butter, spices, or pickles because I have them in the house. I also have salad fixings in the house always.

 Went to my local Walmart store with my list on my app and my clippings ready. There were several price matches I thought I might need but the majority of the time the price at Walmart was just right. I did manage to do a few price matches, though.


When you make a menu with your favourite recipes, make a list and check it twice, then use my favourite shopping tool Flipp you can do even a holiday meal on a budget. No need for a huge expense on the pocket book. Check out everything I got for $36.00. The only thing missing is my apple cider.


Now if you are a huge fan of Flipp like I am you will want to check out their Facebook page and Twitter account this week during the day. They are giving away some great prizes as they celebrate #FlippGivesThanks

Counting My Blessings this Thanksgiving


Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, and I am so grateful I have made this whole month about things I am thankful but today especially I wanted to give thanks. First, I must thank you my readers for stopping by Common Cents Mom thousands of time every single month. You have made my life as a work at home mom possible.

Now what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1. Faith- if you follow me online and have been doing so since I started blogging you will of found that my spiritual walk has taken me on a path with many twists and turns. Right now, I am grateful for God. I know he is not finished with me yet. I am also grateful that I have found a new church home.

2. Prayer- Some people meditate some people call out to God, I am so glad I can call on him every day.

3. My family- we may not be perfect in every way but we are family and we are there for each other.

4. My daughter- I am blessed to be a mother. In my 30’s I didn’t think I would have a child of my own. I was happy being a step mom but then I was blessed with my girl. It is a joy and privilege to raise her. She really is a gift from God.

5. My friends- Some people come into your life for a short time and then leave, others come walk a longer part of the journey and well some you have known for years. No matter how long the friendship or how we meet, I am forever thankful for the people I call friend.

6. My business- Years ago as a single mom on welfare I never thought I could stay home, raise my daughter, work my butt off from home and earn enough to live off of. Today I do just that through blogging and doing freelance community management. I also do some network marketing as well. All of these revenue streams means we have enough and for that I am thankful.

7. The ability to give back- I love when opportunities to give back come into my life, I love to help others. It is why I started this blog in the first place I wanted women in a panic, women who needed encouragement, help with things like budgets and tips to have a spot to come read, learn and grow. I wanted no other woman to suffer like I did. I am thankful for this chance to give back.

8. I am thankful for the beauty that surrounds me every day. It might be something simple like being able to watch the sunrise, taking in a flower on your walk, sipping a cup of your favourite tea, it might be the beauty of the written word, it might be the beauty of a song on the radio..there is much beauty around and grateful for all of it.

There are so many things to be thankful for and these are just a few of the things I had wanted to mention this thanksgiving day. Let me know what are you thankful for?



How to Save Time and Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Save Time and Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is just weeks away. Can you believe it? Its time to start thinking about my favorite meal of the year! I love Thanksgiving. As fall approaches I start to get ready. I have several fall traditions that help me to get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving in style and on a budget. So how can I help you save time and money on your Thanksgiving Dinner. Follow these simple tips and well your thanksgiving meal should go off without a hitch and the side benefit, you will not break the bank.

1. Use Natural elements for or Decor.

Have kids it the family? Go for a walk gather pine cones and leaves four your Thanksgiving table. When Rachel was younger we always did this, infact you will find pine cones we gathered on my table today.

2. Use the 1 pound rule.

Think about it, how big does that Turkey really have to be. One pound of meat per person is sufficient, especially if you have no plans for the leftovers. Another thing to think about is do you need more then one type of meat? When I used to go to my grandmothers there was always turkey and ham, do we really need both.

3. Look for the loss leaders

Have you checked the sales flyers yet? Stock up on the loss leaders that you need to make your Thanksgiving dinner a feast. Use apps like Flipp in store to save you time and money, a simple search means you always have the best price.

4. Split meal duties

Have a gang for Thanksgiving dinner? Why not assign them to bring a dish. Guests are great for bringing sides, salad and even dessert, that way everybody has a hand in the meal prep, which saves you time and money in the kitchen.

5. Balance expensive and frugal sides dishes.

Did you see that sale on carrots at No Frills this week? A nice glazed carrot, and a sweet potato pie goes a long way at Thanksgiving. When it comes to dessert can it be a cupcake or pie, instead of that trifle?

Follow these simple tips and you will be saving time and money on your Thanksgiving meal.

We will be talking all about this topic for the #cdnmoney chat tonight, October 23rd at 7pm est on Twitter. Follow the hashtag, @christachips and me, @commoncentsmom and join the conversation.


Happy Thanksgiving and Leftovers

Thanksgiving at the Trolls © by martha_chapa95

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

What are you thankful for this year?

For me I am thankful for the lessons learned, the people met, my fabulous daughter and being in good health. That is a lot to be thankful for right!

So yesterday it was turkey time in my house, which means this week my menu planning is pretty simple as we tackle the leftovers.

Monday-more food coma as I am hosting a potluck tonight. I am serving the salad, everyone else is bringing something..

Tuesday-Turkey Stuffed Shells , salad

Wednesday-Turkey Tacos

after that made stock that can be frozen..

Thursday- Rachel is making her spaghetti and meatballs.

Friday- I am at Blissdom Canada for Rachel it is Subway..

Saturday-Cheese Pizza and salad

Sunday-Shrimp with Spicy Tomato Sauce and rice.

This menu will be shared as always at Organizing Junkie.

A Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner © by japharl

It is that time of year here in Canada, thanksgiving will be celebrated in many homes. Even though there is just my daughter and I we still celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional meal, then I use the left overs in the week after.

If you have ever planned a Thanksgiving meal, you know that it can get expensive. Thanks to a gift card I have to Sobeys this year I will be getting $20 off my turkey and that is a big savings for us. So how can we have a frugal Thanksgiving meal?

Limit your selection of you main dish. Have the turkey, roast beef or ham, but cook only one. Not a selection unless you are feeding an army. At the same time choose the right size bird or cut of meat. One pound of meat is usually enough, that is unless you do have plans for all those leftovers.

Balance your expensive and cheap dishes. Yams, potatoes, and carrots are all on sale this week, as is pumpkin. Think pumpkin pie, instead of say a trifle. Glazed carrots are yummy, as is sweet potato pie. Think what can I make with less expensive ingredients that will still taste yummy.

Delegate a dish or two if you are having guests. Ask that they bring a salad, or maybe the dessert, or wine.

Decorate with nature. We love using pinecones, gourds, and leaves.

Take advantage of the sales flyers. Have you checked them lately? What loss leader could you use? Take advantage while you can.

All these ways of saving have helped my daughter and I to have a frugal divine Thanksgiving meal.

Here is our Menu..

Roasted Turkey

Classic Bread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes


Whipped Sweet Potato Bake

Maple Glazed Carrots

Pumpkin pie and whipped cream


This works for us. I will be sharing this as part of Works for me over at We are THAT Family.

American Thanksgiving Memories

Today as I watched the Macy’s Parade my mind was taken back to two American thanksgivings that I celebrated in..

First was in 1988 and I was living in LA, well actually Venice CA was my home. I was spending much of my time for a wonderful little church called Bible Tabernacle that houses and feeds many homeless people each and every day in LA. One thanksgiving day they do it big..they really show Christ like love for their neighbours and the homeless. Every year they set out to feed about 5,000 on the beach…For those who don’t know Venice Beach has always had a huge homeless population. That year I got to be part of the solution. I was thankful to be there to see the service of so many that give up their traditions to serve: many that served that day were household names every day of the year, we watch them on tv or in the movies. It was exciting to watch people serving was humanity in action. So often on most days these are the people we walk past, and this day and well actually every day, those that volunteer at BT well are some of the most Christ like people I have ever had the chance to meet..and I am thankful for that chance.

Fast forward to almost 10 years later and it is 1997 , I am now living in Carlsbad NM, I am pregnant with Roo, and I am alone. My Bishop had asked me to house-sit while his family was out of town. I did so …it was a chance to be out of the battered woman’s shelter that was my current residence. I was so very alone that day, everyone was off celebrating with out of town families and well my family was falling apart. A month earlier my now ex had asked me for a divorce. I was in a state of depression that I have never experienced at any other time in my life. That day as I watched the parade on tv I thought of ending all the pain that was inside me that day. I figured out how to do it, and even wrote a letter, and then I started thinking of my dear child that was growing inside me, and how I would be not only ending my life but theirs and I couldn’t do that so that day I had to decide to live if not for me for them…I am thankful for that choice that I made that day and for the fact that I had Roo there with me even when I felt so alone.