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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Quick & Easy Food Ideas during the Holidays that Make Your Money Stretch!

This one is for you Dee. Dee asked me to write a blog about making food stretch which helps save money.  If your family is like mine we are not too keen on leftovers.  However, whether my husband or I think of it we usually come up with some good ideas to make the leftovers seem new again.  So here's some quick ideas for some of those items that you'd throw or stick in the freezer until you throw it out.  Please remember I am no Martha Stewart or Betty Crocker so these are simple ideas that anyone should be able to do without much effort. 
Tools to help with leftovers:
Crock pot
Vacuum sealer – this comes in handy!  Now they have Ziploc bags that you can vacuum too.
Freezer room…great time to organize the freezer(s)
After Thanksgiving we had quite a bit of turkey meat leftover like you all did.  My husband made a Turkey noodle soup instead of using chicken and used the broth that the turkey had made after skimming off the fat several times.  It was very good and we had some leftovers of that but vacuum packed it and put it in the freezer for a quick meal on a cold evening. 
The other leftover turkey was put into bags and will be used for turkey chili and a pot pie.  A pot pie can be made so easily.  One way that is really simple is put your meat and veggies and sauce into a pie dish and make some easy biscuit batter, drop biscuit, and drop it on the top, bake and you have an all in one dish meal. 
These recipes work with most meats.  If you have a hunter in the family, like I do, venison is one of those meats that is filling up in our freezers fast.  Its great meat but the roasts can be quite large so leftovers will be plentiful and can be used in the above meals as well.
Even mashed potatoes and meat are great over toast with the gravy on top.  It makes an easy meal for busy holiday nights. 
Those leftover veggie trays can be used in soups and baked dishes or a stir-fry.  The leftover shrimp tray and veggies are great for a stir-fry or sushi. 
Many of these items can be pre-made and froze for the Christmas week or to be used during the busy weeks before Christmas.  It will eliminate the need for going out to eat so much
Some leftovers can be used easily in quiches.  These are wonderful for company during the holidays!  You can have one for breakfast or lunch, depending on what you are going to put in them.  Fresh fruit or salads and bread or muffins are great sides with a quiche and tastes like a gourmet café breakfast or lunch.   
We have gone apple picking a couple times at the orchards this fall season.  I like to make an apple crisp for dessert or breakfast.  Leftovers can easily be used for pancake or French toast topping the following day. 
Remember baked items are great gifts too.  You can save money by making unique dishes or desserts for those on your list.  Even a loaf of homemade bread can be a special treat to those who don't bake or are unable to bake anymore. 
A great way to share with others is is invite friends over and let them get to know your family traditions and traditional foods during the holidays.  Having them over for dinner and sending some fresh baked cookies home with them can be your gift to them which doesn't cost as much as buying the whole family gifts.  They will appreciate the time, food and fun.  Not to mention using those holiday plates and dishes that only get to be displayed once a year.
Food is such a part of the holidays, have fun and use what you have and also use it to bless others and it will help your budget stretch further too.  Many families are financially struggling this year, a good meal and some fun will help take some pressure off and make their holidays happier.  Food is always part of a budget so think ahead and use whatcha got  to make the holidays less stressful on your time and money. 

posted on: 12/10/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances

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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.

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