Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!  With so many people working at a breakneck pace these days, and free time at an all-time low, readers state again and again that their biggest goals for the holiday are (1) to relax with family and friends, (2) not work themselves into a frenzy getting a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner on the table, and (3) to not overspend on the holiday!   Read on for tips on how to accomplish all of the above – it’s easier than you think!

Tip #1 – Delegate!  I shout this from the rooftops every year, because it’s true.  Even the smallest Thanksgiving celebrations easily have a dozen moving parts.  Partner that with the fact that everyone sitting around your table will want to contribute, and you’ve got the perfect scene for delicious delegating.  Put your best friend on flowers or wine detail, your brother or sister is in charge of two desserts, your Aunt or Uncle gets to bring their famous sweet potatoes, et voila!  All you need to do is set the table and get a gorgeous turkey on the table.  Which brings me to my next money/time/sanity saving idea…

Tip #2 – The Turkey: making it yourself vs. buying it already baked!  Guys, this is a bold new area for me.  I’ve never done this personally, but I’m hearing rave reviews from people who purchased a ready-to-serve, fully cooked turkey for their Thanksgiving table.  When you think about it, what’s not to love?   Supermarkets are pricing them lower than ever before, and I’ve never heard of anyone having a problem with them.  Personally, I’m lucky – Victor always takes care of roasting the turkey, and it comes out to perfection every single year.  However, I’m hearing from others that attempting to put a Norman Rockwell-worthy turkey on the table is one of their biggest stressors of the season – why not leave the turkey cooking tasks to others and simply pick it up ready to go?  Works for me!

Tip #3 – In my book, carbs don’t count on Thanksgiving, and they’re most inexpensive food items out there, so bring them on!  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, biscuits, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cranberries, even green bean casserole are Thanksgiving staples that all cost just pennies per serving, enjoy them with gusto!  They’re also wildly popular on kids’ tables, home of the most enthusiastic appetites of the holiday.

Tip #4 – It’s corny, because it’s true:  Remember the reason for the season, guys.  It’s called a day of “Thanksgiving”, not a day of “Stress to the point of a nervous breakdown”.  The whole idea for a day of thanks is spending time with loved ones, reflecting on our blessings, and offering up heartfelt thanks.  Okay and maybe some football.  Using the tips above, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a great meal with family and friends, linger over dessert and coffee, and cheer for your favorite football team… just the way the Pilgrims intended.  Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!


Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs Saturdays at 11A on WNPV 1440 / 98.5 in Lansdale, and Nationwide via the BizTalk Radio Network. She was raised in Delaware County, works in Montgomery County, and resides in Chester County with her husband and kids.  She is honored to be connected with the crew at the Detox Treatment Help Line (800-287-7891) and Elite Rehab (800-932-4082) to help get the word out about their proven strategies to steer the ones you love away from drug abuse. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com