This holiday season, with everyone waiting for a viable vaccine and trying in the meantime, to just hang on, my frugal advice is to keep everything as simple as possible.
Holding true to CDC recommendations, we forwent our usual large family get together for Thanksgiving. It was really hard but we abide by the CDC and science. I believe I have mentioned that this is not my first pandemic so I know the drill. Lock down and follow the science.
So, we stayed to ourselves this past turkey day. Just my partner, the dogs and me, waiting on the turkey all darn day. This is because we like to roast it low and slow, about 250-F deg and that literally takes all day. The results are worth it, however. The white meat, which my partner normally finds stringy and tough, is moist and melt in your mouth. Once cooled, I can strip the carcass of the meat with my bare hands, it is literally that easy to work with. I also did not make my usual side side dishes. When you have a houseful like mine, you end up with a lot of picky eaters and special requests but this year was very basic, very simple. I made stuffing and mashed potatoes, pies in advance, and a vegetable. The day of, I made homemade yeast rolls which we eat all week long. It was, as I said, very simple. I even let my partner have his beloved canned cranberry sauce while I made mine from scratch. I will use the leftover cranberry sauces in muffins and breads. Stuffing freezes well and the vegetable is nearly gone anyway. That leaves the turkey which I shredded with my bare hands and will use in an egg scramble and sandwiches. The mash potatoes are nearly gone as well, I was careful to scale back the amounts this year and that saves me from having to figure out too many ways to use up leftovers.
As I said, I’m keeping it simple this year.
When it comes to Christmas, I am following the same strategy. I will be ordering every gift on line (I do this most of the time anyway) and we will scale back the meal which features Prime Rib (affectionately referred to in our home as, ‘roast beast’ as an homage to How The Grinch Stole Christmas ). We will order the roast from the local grocery store butcher, plan a few high end sides and a pie or two for dessert. We are aiming for low stress, high end but simpler since it will just be us this year. It hurts my heart to think that we will have to watch the grandkids open gifts via Facetime but that is a small price for long term safety.
So, that is my frugal advice for this year. You naturally end up saving money when you keep things simple. No big crowds, scaled back meals and ordering gifts online is our strategy for getting through to the end of a tough year. May your holidays be as simple and easy as we hope to make ours.