I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year. I have 7 guests coming, so we’ll be 16 people. I’m also having the missionaries for dinner the night before.

Here are my plans for the busiest week of the year:

House:

1. Clean refrigerator

2. Organize desk

3. Have someone clean the windows

4. Make sure the bathrooms are clean (the children have this job every day, but I’ll be making sure they’re really clean, which means I’ll be working in there too if need be).

5. Clean the kitchen

6. Make sure someone mops the floor really well throughout the house.

7. Make sure the dusting gets done

8. Clean the kitchen cabinets

9. Do some pantry organization (a major chore!)

10. Clean the ceiling fan in the kitchen

11. Cut branches and flowers from the garden for arrangements for three tables (one being the entry table)

Cooking:

My mom is making the vegetables on Thanksgiving, but I am doing all the rest.

1. Make pies: pecan, pumpkin, maybe a Derby pie (chocolate pecan pie; I’ve never made one before), chocolate pudding pie, which means using this for the crust and this recipe with less milk for the center, and topping it most likely with meringue. Also I’ll be making homemade whipped cream.

2. Make bread for us during the week and also on Thanksgiving. I’m thinking rosemary olive oil bread made into individual pumpkin shapes.

3. Make mashed potatoes and stuffing on Thanksgiving.

4. Cook the turkey and make the gravy.

5. Make balsamic orange vinaigrette

6. Make all other meals this week

7. Can pomegranate jelly on Friday for my brother’s upcoming wedding. He wants to give jelly as favors and has asked me to make 160 or 180 half-pints (something like that!) I will be making some now and some a few months later in other kinds.

Photography and blogging goals:

1.Photograph presents that I sewed last week. It should be sunny today!

2. Photograph different half-pint jars to my brother and ask him what kind he wants me to get

3. Photograph all presents I make this week.

4. Get blog posts up for last week’s gifts and this week’s gifts

5. Get blog post up about December activities

6. Write another blog post about Black Friday

Garden Goals:

1. Transplant two Swiss chard plants to another place in the garden

2. Plant more Swiss chard and other seeds in the garden

3. Plant some bulbs in the garden that I haven’t gotten in yet

4. Have Cyrus mow the lawn

Shopping goals:

1. Buy lots of potatoes and another turkey if I can find a good price

2. Buy the canning jars that my brother wants, the pectin, and some pomegranate juice (I’ve never done it this way, always squeezing pomegranates for 10 hours to have enough juice to make one batch. This should be much easier!) I have coupons for the juice.

3. Use a $10 off $10 coupon at one store

4. Do some online Black Friday shopping

Sewing goals:

1. Sew gifts Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday

2. Hem the sleeves of a dress that I want to wear on Thanksgiving

3. Hemstitch some napkins for Thanksgiving.

4. If I can do all of the above listed things (minus Saturday), I will try to make myself a new apron to wear on Thanksgiving.

5. Finish advent calendar

Health (?)  goals:

1. Take Cyrus to get an eye exam

2. Order new glasses online for him

3. Give both boys and my husband a haircut

Plus of course have school three days and do laundry all week!

Are you looking for some ideas for free printable decorations for Thanksgiving? Check out my Frugal Thanksgiving page. And yes, I might be adding some of those to my to-do list this week, too!

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25 Comments

  1. We buy from Zenni also. Great prices! I get my single vision lenses there and the husband gets his bifocals….never an issue.We have a small Thanksgiving with just four of us…not much work involved. I have to grocery shop a bit tomorrow for a few items. I’m still washing up hunting gear from last week…no luck, but lots of good experience for the future. Hoping to get out this weekend on a local farm as a bit of extra meat in the freezer will be nice. There will be a free turkey from work this week, but that will go into the freezer to be canned up at a later date. After reading over YOUR to do list, I feel like such a slacker!!

  2. My husband is also diabetic and, while he likes it, can’t eat all that stuffing etc. I found a recipe for “stuffing” that I baked separate in a casserole that called for cauliflower, onion, celery, egg and some seasonings. He loved it.

  3. I’m hosting, as well. We don’t have family nearby, so we’ve invited another family from our church to join us. Today I got the guest bath cleaned, the dining room cleaned and dusted, a second table pulled up to the main table, and set it with linens, placemats and plates. I also polished the silver, and set out serving dishes. I made the cranberry sauce (from our home grown cranberries), and chopped onion and celery for the dressing. I also made 2 baguettes, to slice and toast (instead of buying crackers), for spreading a smoked salmon spread.I made out my list of work and what days to tackle everything. Hopefully it will all go according to plans.Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Brandy!

  4. I don’t know if you could use $25 worth of cream cheese, but just so you know, cream cheese keeps for several months. I just checked the sell-by date on the cream cheese I bought last week — April 2014. So, if you thought you could use 25 packages of cream cheese in the next 6 mos., it might be worth it. And BTW, I just opened a package I bought in March, the date was Oct 2013, and it was totally fine. We used it on baked potatoes for lunch on Saturday.I had to spend $35 to get 2 turkeys for 49 cents/lb (buy one turkey for 99 cents/lb, get one free). I wasn’t sure I’d need $35 worth of stuff, then remembered that I always buy my bath tissue at this store. So, we’re well-stocked on bath tissue. Plus I also found quite a bit on mark down, like quarts of half and half creamer for 50 cents. Even though the carton says “do not freeze”. I froze it in ice cube trays, and 1 cup containers. I am using it as creamer for coffee and tea, as well as the cream portion in eggnog. Once thawed it does separate, but in coffee/tea, it all gets stirred together again, and in the eggnog, it gets blended with a mixer. I also used a couple of store coupons, for milk, cream cheese and butter, to bring my total up to the limit (I brought a calculator, and kept track).

  5. Lili, I know about the shelf life on cream cheese–I still have some cream cheese in the fridge! It actually will keep several months past the expiration date. Perhaps I should add a cheesecake to my to-do list this week :)The thing is, it’s luxury item. If I spent $25 on cream cheese, it would be 12.5 pounds of food. If I bought $25 worth of potatoes this week, it would be 250 pounds of food.I saw your eggnog recipe this morning. I’ve never made a cooked version before, but my parents used to make it with raw eggs. I was thinking of making some from scratch this year.The only thing about frozen cream is that it won’t whip. I like your idea of freezing it in ice cube trays. I have made whipped cream and then frozen little swirls of it that I piped out on a silicone baking mat (that I put on a cookie sheet). Once they were frozen I took them out and put them in a freezer bag. Then I have whipped cream for pies and hot chocolate.I also use cream in alfredo sauce if I have any.And that store does usually have cream for a decent price–but also a luxury item.

  6. I totally understand. Cheese in general, is a luxury item that I ration out. For us, hard cheese is out of our price range most of the time, at over $2 a lb. Whereas, I wait for cream cheese to go on ad for 88 cents for 8 oz, then I buy whatever the limit is. And we use the cream cheese, as cheese, most of the time, or for special occasions, like a cheesecake for New Year’s, or to mix with garlic and herbs for a cheese spread, or mixed with smoked salmon (yes, we are lucky to have people who gift us with smoked salmon!), for a holiday. Good idea for using whipping cream, freezing already whipped, then using to top desserts.

  7. Brandy, Wow, what a list! I admire your ambition and work ethic so much! For Thanksgiving, I’m just making a cheesecake to bring to our Thanksgiving dinner, which we always spend at a relative’s home. I do plan to make a turkey, though, but just for our family. Turkey is 59 cents per pound with a $30 purchase at our local Safeway. I do have a quick question for you though: I just looked at your post on how you prepare turkey, and am wondering if you season the bird with any salt, pepper, or other spices before you cook it. This will be my first time cooking a turkey!

  8. Wow. That is SOME LIST! If you get HALF of it done this week, it will be impressive. MOST impressive to me is that you are still going to be working on Christmas gifts! I tend to toss ‘extras’ out the window when deep cleaning/cooking/hosting is in the future! We are celebrating with family (about 30+ people) but not at my house. (I host Christmas Eve for my side of the family and a Christmas in July picnic for my husbands’ each year) Today is my youngest daughters birthday which will require some last minute present making/wrapping, a requested birthday feast (hers is French toast, eggs and sausage) and baking/decorating a birthday cake (her requested cake is a PEACOCK cake). I tell the children that my decorating their cakes is a gift too- and they have come to love that more than any other thing almost, even if they oftentimes come out dorky. 😉 Looking forward to your Black Friday deals! Have a great week! Every time I feel tired and lazy, I am going to read this list and find myself something productive to do! 🙂

  9. Do they happen to have any other Rockbottom prices going on? Sometimes you can get butter, or other baking items, some canned goods etc. last year at this time I got green beans for .39 a can that is rock bottom for us, even an awesome deal on diapers? Sometimes diapers at the store can be cheaper than Sam’s

  10. Thanks. This is always the toughest week of the year for me! I love Thanksgiving and the way it builds to Christmas and always get homesick this week, when I don’t any other time.

  11. What a List! I thought mine was long. We celebrated Thanksgiving last Saturday because I got my wisdom teeth out today. 🙁 I decided since I would be laid up for a minimum of 2 1/2 days that I am going to finish my Christmas preparation. I have one scarf left to knit. Hand write and send Christmas cards- I would sell a kidney before I would give those up. I am on a mission to bring back the Christmas Card- Hem three clothing items. Wrap presents and get them in the mail BEFORE Dec 5Balance Checkbook/ Write checks for bills to be paid in DecemberI have “normal” household things to do, but that it my extras for the week

  12. Wow – I’m exhausted reading your list. You must be a glutton for punishment entertaining both Wednesday and Thursday 🙂 I also liked how you stated “have someone clean windows” instead of “clean windows”. With a list like that you have to get the family involved!

  13. I like the Corning Wear white dishes. They stack very compactly so take up very little room and are relatively indestructable, unless dropped on ceramic tile or such. The originals in our set are very old, probably 40+ and we add whenever we come across some on sale. We keep 10 of each in our everyday cupboard and the rest are stored away until needed. I probably have (well they are in the old house now with my daughter, I did not move them here with me) 50 or more of all the plates and bowls, plus at least 10 of the 2 sizes of large serving bowls. Some of the other families have these also, because when we have a large gathering for wedding etc there can be easily 100 to 200 people and we don’t use paper or styrofoam. We also have a couple silverware caddies with lots of mismatched flatware. Oh, and we don’t just have the plain white, some have patterns along the edge too, makes no difference.

  14. I will not be hosting this year for first time in long time. Seems strange. Will be at my daughter’s next door. The final number is not set, but should be about 27 for dinner. The two in college will bring friends that cannot go to their own home due to distance etc, and I know there are 5 of those, so far. Also a couple family friends, older son’s in laws ( she is only child so often they just come along to our gatherings)and my mother. We will get visits from other relatives from mine and husbands over throughout the weekend. I might need more pie.All food is on hand in either freezer or pantry. Will do most of the cooking today as school is off, but the children will do much of the work to help. They will set tables etc, gather chairs, help clean. The dining room table seats 14 and the kitchen table seats 14 too. More if we squish and put 2 on each end. No little children this year, so no need for small table.Need to make cole slaw, jello salad, cranberry sauce, saute up vegetables and fruit for the filling, make 1 lemon meringue pie, 1 apple pie, 1 pecan pie, 4 pumpkins pies. (2 of the pumpkins go to a coworker who helped me with the crocheted Christmas present). We will put the turkeys in and also the ham I bought from SIL last month and will make the potatoes, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes at daughter’s. She and my mother are making 4 doz rolls tonight.That’s it.

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