Plan for a fab­u­lously fru­gal Thanks­giv­ing

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - Kris­ten Hagopian Bril­liant Fru­gal Liv­ing

It’s al­most Thanks­giv­ing! How did that hap­pen? Hon­est to good­ness, it feels like I was just writ­ing about fab­u­lous sum­mer­time projects and warm-weather get­aways, and now sud­denly I’m see­ing com­mer­cials for “A Char­lie Brown Thanks­giv­ing.” I just adore that show – it gets bet­ter every year.

If it’s your turn to host Thanks­giv­ing, it’s time to kick the plan­ning into high gear to get a fab­u­lous Thanks­giv­ing on the ta­ble. If your pre­vi­ous gath­er­ings led to ridicu­lous stress (and quite pos­si­bly – mas­sive over­spend­ing) read on for some highly-ef­fec­tive strate­gies that will put to­gether

a fan­tas­tic Thanks­giv­ing din­ner for a frac­tion of the time, ef­fort and stress of years past. Step one – the main

course: If you’re any­thing like me, 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 at all time lows! I’m even see­ing some big gro­cery chains of­fer­ing a tur­key for free when you spend $100 – what’s not to love? When it comes to de­cid­ing what size to buy, my fool­proof for­mula is al­ways to 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 and 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 and 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 greatly min­i­mized ef­fort and stress. Think about it – every one of your guests is go­ing to want to bring some­thing as a gift, what bet­ter gift than a side dish to be in­cluded on the ta­ble? Have one rel­a­tive in charge of pota­toes, an­other on ap­pe­tiz­ers, 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. Win­win 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!

Kris­ten Hagopian is a Syn­di­cated Ra­dio Talk Show Host, Colum­nist & Au­thor of Bril­liant Fru­gal Liv­ing. She co­hosts WCHE 1520’s Morn­ing Show, and “Dad and Daugh­ter Talk Real Es­tate” with lo­cal Keller Wil­liams Re­al­tor John Her­reid Wednesdays at 5:00P (www.john­her­ She was raised in Delaware County, and now re­sides in Ch­ester County with her hus­band and kids. You can find her on­line at www. Bril­liantFru­galLiv­

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