Now it get’s real!

Hey gang – Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!  If you’re hosting this year, this is the week when things start to get real.   Now I’ll be honest, once upon a time, many moons ago, there was an era when I was a complete wreck in my quest to host a fantastic Thanksgiving.   Stress, recipe testings, inevitable overspending, stress chocolate binges – lather, rinse, repeat.  If you find yourself getting nervous at the idea of hosting, read on for proven strategies to keep the stress low, the delicious fabulousness high, and all guests raving about the Holiday!

Step One – the Main Course.  Chances are excellent a roasted turkey will be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner.   Whatever you do, don’t overspend for it!   Hit your grocery the week before Thanksgiving, when sales are hitting their peak – with any luck you’ll see prices around .79/pound, perhaps even less!  I’m even seeing stores offering a free turkey when you spend $100!  Gotta love it.  When it comes to deciding what size to get, go with one pound per person, then tack on 4-5 pounds for leftovers.  Don’t worry about roasting it, you won’t screw it up.  Just pretend it’s a big chicken, show no fear, and shove it in the oven.   Honestly, I douse mine in some olive oil, put some salt & pepper on it, baste it once an hour until it’s done, and people rave about it.  If I can do it folks, so can you.

Step Two – the side dishes & fun extras – I have one word for you when it comes to the side dishes.  Delegate.  Seriously, give each and every one of your guests a side dish to do (or a flower arrangement to bring, or decoration to create) and watch your Thanksgiving dinner come together beautifully with nearly zero effort and stress. Think about it – every one of your guests is going to want to bring something as a hostess gift, what better gift than a side dish to be included on the table?  Have one relative in charge of potatoes, another on rolls, another on a fabulous salad, one more on yams, you get the point.  Your table is stuffed with fabulous food, and your stove burners aren’t doing quadruple overtime.  Win-win in my book.

Step Three – the desserts!  I have very simple rules regarding desserts at Thanksgiving.  More is better, and carbs don’t count.  I’m a fan of the “four or more” desserts for this fabulous holiday.  I have wonderful family that loves to linger around the table, and I find that four separate desserts, combined with some strong coffee (to make the calories melt away) is just the ticket to keep conversation going for easily an hour after the turkey is put away.  It’s fabulous.
Gang, above all else, remember what this wonderful holiday is for – to give thanks for all of our blessings and show those closest to us how much we care.  If you’re anything like me, you’re marveling at how quickly the year has gone by – make Thanksgiving the day to kick back and enjoy every minute with family and friends.  Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

See you on the airwaves, gang – and until next week, save those pennies, pay with cash, and you all stay frugal out there!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living. She resides in her as-of-yet unfinished fixer upper in Chester County, PA with her husband and kids.  The Kristen Hagopian Show airs on BizTalkRadio and you can find her online at