Cheap Thanksgiving Meals and Debt Relief

You Can Plan Well and Save Money This Thanksgiving

Debt relief is possible, even if you have to plan a Thanksgiving meal. (Photo:

Debt relief is possible, even if you have to plan a Thanksgiving meal. (Photo:

If you find yourself inhaling the last of the crouton dust after a fruitless search for the elusive meal, you are likely in need of debt relief. I’ve been there before, so I feel your fruitlessness. Now that Thanksgiving has flickered into view like flames from a toaster slot, you’re going to have to do a little bit better, particularly if you’re going to be having people over.

Plan and Save from Your Man Cave

Or feminine aerie, or whatever you call your esteemed hovel. You can plan how much food you’ll need and save some money in the process. That’s debt relief with wings that work, unlike the ex-bird that will grace your table.

Or Will You Even Give Them the Bird?

There are lots of other solutions, including ham, enchiladas or the gluten-free vegan feast of your choosing. But the main things you need to know are how long you’re going to entertain, how many people you’ll have and what time of day you’re doing this. If you’re doing an after-dinner party rather than an all day football gorge fest, you know you won’t need as much.

But Let’s Get to the Menu “Rules of Thumb”

Thanks to, here are some general guidelines for you to follow. I’ve added my own comments, as I’m sure you’ll deduce. They’ll make Thanksgiving cheaper and contribute toward your debt relief journey.

1) Round Up When You Estimate

Better a little too much than too little.

2) Offer Ample Choices

Contrary to what you might think, more choices equals less of any one item. A little of this and a little of that instead of industrial-sized portions of an old stand-by make Thanksgiving parties spicy and (generally) cheaper for you.

3) Assume They’ll Try Everything

But they’ll likely go small, so that’s more leftovers for you! Trust me, it’s a psychological thing akin to nobody wanting to be “the one” who ate the last cookie.

4) Go Bulk for Sit-Down Dinners

Go with breads, nuts, olives, pretzels or anything cheap. This saves on prep time for those of you with no culinary skills. Besides, lots of bread will fill them up fast, make them feel like fat slobs and lower their resistance to your hypnotic suggestions. Tell them to stop eating and leave immediately… but wait until after dessert. The world’s all right with pie.

How Much SHOULD One Person Eat?

This varies, but you can do the math and figure out where the budgetary debris will fall.

Hors d’oeuvres and Salad?

Six bites before a meal. Remind them of Botswana if they object. If that’s the meal, think four to six bites per hour. With green salad, one ounce is right. Excess lettuce leads to emission problems (see the bean barb below).

Le Main Course?

Poultry, meat or fish are acceptable. says six ounces per person if there’s one main dish, eight if there are two or more. To me, that seems counter intuitive to the myriad bulk plan offered above, but perhaps your guests are zombies and their lust for carne cannot be sated.

Rice and Grains? Yes Please! Pasta too!

One-and-one-half ounces as a side dish, two in a main dish like risotto. Can’t go wrong there, I think. And for pasta, think two ounces as a side, three for first course and four for main. Not all of those, however. Pick one. Repetition will cause your guest to plot your demise as you sleep. Change it up and you won’t have an “Ox Bow Incident” on your hands.

Get Starchy

Five ounces of potatoes should do it. The starches lull the mind into trance more readily, to which I’ve already alluded. It also weighs them down if you plan to use your guests as tackling dummies later.

Veggies and Beans within Your Means

Think four ounces of vegetables and two ounces of beans per person. I cannot stress enough that you adhere to think, particularly when it comes to the beans. You’re going to be locked in tight quarters with many people for a few hours, so think about it. If you have a gas stove, it’s a no-brainer.

You May Now Have Dessert

One thin slice of cakey substance is appropriate. In fact, it’s very cosmopolitan. If you’re going to get gushy, four ounces of pudding will do. For ice cream, think five ounces. If you mix the two, cut the portions in half. You’re out to perform debt relief surgery on yourself, so you don’t need pastry blobs giving you a hard time. Give those creampuffs the what-for if they question your stinginess.

But as always, do this in the most thankful manner possible. It is Thanksgiving, remember!

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