Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preparing for Thanksgiving in Hard Times

Coming Home

We had another financial crisis hit us this month. It seems to always happen at this time of year. But I have faith that the Lord will provide for us. We lost another few hundred dollars of income. When the news came, I was stunned. I prayed and left it with God and then moved on. We will be okay.

Over the last few months, I have been following our supermarket's thanksgiving plan. If I spent $500 over the course of a month, I would get a $20 coupon to buy a turkey and other food. I didn't think I would be able to do it, but somehow I got up to $495. Then one night, Matthew (17) needed to buy himself something. I handed him my store card and waited in the car. When he came back, I realized what I'd done. "Matt, did the store give you a coupon for $20?" He shook his head no. He wasn't sure. I told him, " When we get home, will you give me your receipt?" Sure, he'd do that.

But we both forgot! The next morning, he searched but realized he had thrown it in the trash. It was ruined. I ended up calling the supermarket and explaining the problem. I am grateful that they were able to give me a special coupon and all was going to be okay. But why all the trouble to get food? It is hard to seek and find ways to pay bills and feed the family. It takes so much extra work!

I've noticed that food prices have dropped drastically since last year. This is wonderful! I am going to stock up on canned goods this week, while they are still on sale. This will help us get through the rest of the month. I've been buying apple pies for us to eat now, because they are hearty and filling and only $1.99 at our local store's bakery.  It has been a special treat.

I plan to bake some cookies for Thanksgiving. I will also bake some pies. Do you remember the thanksgiving story? They spent most of that first year starving! That first thanksgiving was a feast and a time of joyful gathering together to THANK God for his blessings and provisions. This is what we will do this week.

There will be plenty of leftovers so we will have food for a few days. It will be a precious time. Food is so important. When we have decent things to eat, and event treats, we feel less desperate - less depressed. I would rather spend money on food and warmth than anything else.

What are some of the ways you come up with food and money for thanksgiving dinner? I'd love to hear your ideas.

Mrs. White

Despite difficulties, it is the Mother's Touch, that makes home a precious place

God always provides in Living on a Prayer

Through Cancer and financial trials - My Living on Faith Marriage Testimony

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Taryn said...

My daughter-in-law gives me a turkey the week before Thanksgiving- from her job- the past few years. We always have Thanksgiving here- with many children I learned to stay home. Now we have the granddaughters-so much fun. One daughter-in-law doesn't like turkey so I make her chicken(I have a friend that doesn't like chicken). We use to get the "free" turkeys at the supermarket too.

Dawn said...

I am still learning how to be frugal. Glad to hear the peace of the Lord is with you as well. Blessings to you and your family!

Taryn said...

Just purified water was a concern for the pilgrims. I googled- did the pilgrims drink beer?- good articles about the Mayflower and beer,etc. I had read years ago that they purified their water with very low-alcohol beer and gave it to their children. In Jesus' time they purified the water with grape juice/low-alcohol wine. We drink purified reverse-osmosis water-in small bottles(less plasticides). Abeka's high school health book goes into the history of fermentation and distillation. We just have water and apple cider at our Thanksgiving table.

The Momma Chronicles said...

I'm sorry to hear about your down-turn. What an encouragement, though, to hear of how you're choosing to praise God in *all* things.

I started buying items for Thanksgiving here and there in October, so it wouldn't be a big expense in one grocery cycle. I'd wind up spending my entire week's budget for one day, which isn't feasible when you need to eat the rest of the week.

My grocery store sells frozen turkeys for .26/pound when you spend $50. I've picked up 3 so far, and I still had 2 from last year. We're taking the rest to the mission, there's such need this year. Starting next week I'll have my oldest daughter (18) put half our grocery order in a separate cart, then we can get 2 turkeys per trip.

Wish I were your neighbor, I'd bring 2 to you!

Mrs. Stam said...

Time are tough for a lot of people it seams! I try to same as much as I can too, and providing healthy food on a very small budget is always a challenge!

Anonymous said...

aww it seems like times are tough for lots of people. Just keep up the faith and know that you are not alone :)

Deanna said...

Dearest Mrs. White,
Bless you this Thanksgiving!

Each year is different. This year with me being ill I am looking for ways to simplify Thanksgiving. So this year we are going to a Family Dinner where everyone shares food. Makes for a wonderful fellowship.

Planning way ahead helps calm my nerves.
Basically we have the same Thanksgiving meal each year. Sure helps make the planning easier.

God bless,
d from homehaven

Anonymous said...

I had a tearful moment last night while at the market - They only sell 20 and up turkeys. For our 4 family members - that's a lot of money for a bird - that none of us really like. I was picking up a 5 dollar chicken to roast instead when I saw a bin with smaller turkeys - for almost twelve dollars, so I thought the memories of a holiday would be more important than 6 dollars. :) When I went to the check out counter, my order came to 31 dollars - so that qualified me for a lower price - my turkey rang up for $4.75. Woo Hoo! The Tom Hanks Line kept going through my mind - "There's No Crying at - The Checkout Line". I teared up. The lady behind me teared up, the cashier was excited. She said she heard my story about the chicken and was praying that my order would hit 30 dollars and kept a secret to see my joy. :) Oh. She Did. Lots of Joy. So Thanksgiving Dinner this year for 35 dollars. :) Oh Ya. Our food budget is 200 dollars a month - we do not qualify for Food Stamps or helps, but we do get to visit the Food Bank once a month.

Joyce Ackley said...

I've enjoyed all the comments about Thanksgiving dinners. I am sharing the meal with my daughter and her family. My wonderful son-in-law will do the cooking, and we'll enjoy some tradtional favorite dishes, and probably, a new recipe or two as well!

Seems like the stores are full of bargains for the holiday meal. At my local Publix grocery, many items were Buy 1, Get 1 Free, or featured in special sales. I saw canned yams, packaged stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, etc. at good prices. I am a "semi-vegetarian". I eat no beef, and only a little fish and chicken. I'll eat a few bites of turkey on Thursday, in keeping with the tradition. But honestly, if I were cooking just for myself, I'd be just as happy with some well-seasoned fresh veggie dishes and casseroles. Southern girl that I am, I would even relish beans, greens, and cornbread as a wonderful meal! So I think a good meal with friends and family is a blessing, no matter what's on the table! Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Freedom Acres Farm said...

I'd like to be where you are. Our grocery prices just continue to climb slowly upward. We haven't seen anything dropping around here :-( But we are blessed all the same...For that we are thankful!!

Anonymous said...

I can relate to these leaner times and it is so encouraging to hear testimonies of others. Thank you for sharing.

Our family has had to learn to change many things that we used to do and have learned to distinguish between "luxury" items and the "real" practical ones. It's funny now, when I think about what I once thought of as "practical" was really a total "luxury"!

Although it has been hard, it has been a blessing to get back to basics and to live more simply. Our appreciation for the simple pleasures in life has become much greater than it ever was. I believe we have more grateful hearts by living with less. (I could so relate to Pebblekeeper!)

Also, by living on less, it has given God more opportunity to show Himself strong to us in smaller (yet big) ways.

God's word is so true...He really will supply our needs. The last few years, we have learned this more than ever.

God bless you and I pray that your heart will be encouraged.
I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. We all have so many things to be thankful for.

ps...on my blog I posted what we do for Thanksgiving. One thing I didn't mention was that we got our 22 pound turkey for $8.99. (I sure would have liked it to be .27 a pound like Momma Chronicles!) :-)
I bought 2 extras so that I could bake them later and pick the meat off to freeze for soups, enchiladas, taco, etc. I love doing that...

Anonymous said...

A number of years ago, we started keeping meals simple, really simple. Learning how to dress up salads and eat mostly things that we grow.

I try to do the same with our Thanksgiving meal. Although we do not raise Turkey's or Pork, so that is the only item we have to purchase "special" for the holiday. (This year it was ham.) Our menu was Ham, green beans, peas, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, carrots, relish, rolls, apple pie, and pumpkin pie.

We enjoyied our Thanksgiving meal tonight, as a family (the only day my married son and wife could be here to share it).

We will be enjoying left overs for a few days!

Keeping the Holiday's simple has made them much more enjoyable for us.


Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs White,
God bless you, you're an amazing Mum.
Reading your story here made me see all the things that you do for your family.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
God bless,

laurenclee said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful and inspired by your writings. I look forward to them each day.

We are fortunate to have family near and have been invited over for lunch. We are just providing a dessert w/is not expensive. But if this was not the case I agree w/some other readers in keeping the meal simple. Also, I have been finding lately that it is sometimes more frugal to purchase an item already made rather than purchase the individual ingredients to make a dish, such as a Hershey pie for 4.98 or an Apple Pie for 3.48.

As you often talk about setting the table can be an inexpensive way to transform an otherwise ordinary meal. It may also help keep the expense and stress down on a day to just enjoy being with and being thankful for family. Please take it easy on Thanksgiving Day, so you are not to tired to write to us in the following days!:)LOL

Many Blessing to You and Your Family!

Anonymous said...

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I keep my grocery bill at $5/day for my husband and I by stocking up on things when they are on special, using coupons when I can for items I can't get cheaper elsewhere, cooking mainly from scratch, stretching meat, shopping at a salvage store, eating lots of homemade soups, etc. But, when I was a kid and lived with my sainted grandmother I never knew how poor we were. The holidays were always special because there was always family around and a tablecloth and candles on the table and homemade decorations around the house. There was lots of the inexpensive foods (stuffing, potatoes, homemade bread, homecanned fuits and veggies) and if the turkey was small, who noticed? My memories of those times are all golden. I never felt deprived because there was always enough love to go around. I am sure your family feels the same because they have you.