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This year? This year we’re not having turkey. Nope.

Last year, my oh so brilliant husband (actually he is, but kind of not really…) decided that a 20 lb. turkey (for two adults, a 7 year old and a 2 year old) was appropriate.

Now, lest you think I was horrified–which I was–solely for the size of the turkey–which I kind of was–it was more that I had to think about cleaning up after it was cooked. I’m a great cook, but Slade handles the turkey every year. That man makes DAMN. EXCELLENT. TURKEY. Well, usually.

Last year, he set the oven on fire.

Every year (except last, of course) we pride ourselves on using the stainless steel roaster Slade brought home from Germany 15 years ago. It keeps the heat even, the turkey is never dry, the clean-up is really quite easy. Also, we save the cost of buying a new aluminum roaster (yes, just a couple of bucks, but every dollar adds up and this is, after all, a money blog ;)). The 20 lb. fowl monstrosity (pun intended) was too big for our roaster. For the record, **whispering** The fire was caused by the turkey juices spilling over out of an aluminum roaster that was also too small…even though he swears it should’ve been big enough. Uh huh.

For the record, baking soda puts out grease fires quite well and assists in the clean-up of the grease when the oven has cooled.

This year, we’re going with Chicken Nuggets. Yes, Tyson breaded chicken nuggets–deliciousness in nugget form, will be our protein for Thanksgiving dinner.

To make sure we cover the appropriate financial focus of this blog…we saved at least $10 on the turkey by not opting for the traditional bird this year. (I frequently combine coupons to get $$ off the turkey…the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, though the lines are a little extra insane, are sooooo worth the effort for the cost savings.) This is also a great time to cross-check your coupon stash for spices/seasoning, flour, and believe it or not, I’ve found great prices on chocolate chips at this time. Baking season is upon us, so if you find them discounted, it might be a good time to stock up!

Now that we have the business out of the way…

I want to say that I am THANKFUL for YOU!

There are thousands, hundreds of thousands probably, of blogs out there, and right now you’re reading mine. Thank you.

I am also thankful for my supportive husband, for my beautiful and amazing children, my part psychotic dog, my parents and brother and sister, all my nieces and nephews, my friends, my classmates, my professors, my students, and so many others. I am thankful for the ability to read, write, color (I can’t draw), and express my creativity in baking. I am thankful for social medias that not only allow me to keep in touch with friends, but that also allow me to make new friends and professional contacts. I am thankful for running water, electricity, heat, my smartphone, my computer, and online classes. I am thankful for my injuries, which allow me to put into perspective just how well I’ve done over the past year–and to really appreciate my athletic/exercise efforts even if they’ve had to temporarily come to a standstill. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to dream–because my husband defends our freedoms as a United States Army Soldier–but also that I have the opportunity to not achieve everything I want to, because it reminds me that I have a Father who is watching out for me and guiding my every move. I am thankful that while I am no longer gainfully employed, as I was last year, I am out of a miserable job. I am thankful that while we currently do not have renters in our Texas house, we can still afford to pay the mortgage. I am thankful that while we’ve lost $3200 (net)/month we can still make ends meet and put a few dollars (literally some months) in savings. I am thankful that I can look back at the money we’re now doing without and not beat myself senseless for not having more to show for it. I am thankful for coupons, sales, and knowing that just because the neighbor, friend, guy down the street has it, doesn’t mean that I have to have it too.

The list, of course, could go on and on and on and on…you get my point.

One last thankful thought…I am thankful that (my) money (or lack thereof) does not define me.

Please, as we enter into one of the most “spend-focused” seasons, I encourage you to look at what you DO have, to look at the needs that you are meeting, even if the wants sometimes don’t get to happen. I encourage you to give what you can, when you can, but not to the detriment of yourself, your family, your savings, or your budget.

I hope you have the Happiest of Thanksgivings and would love to hear what you are particularly thankful for this year.

P.S. I am thankful that there is no turkey to set the oven on fire this year…because, yes, of course it was the turkey’s fault.

Happy Thanksgiving!