Thanksgiving plate

How to Make Use of Thanksgiving Day Leftovers to Stretch Your Dollar



Thanksgiving leftovers are a beautiful thing. Turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for the next week? Yes, please! But what if you spent your entire monthly grocery budget on one meal? Americans spend, on average, roughly $175 on Thanksgiving . These Thanksgiving hacks can help you make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers and help keep more dollars in your pocket.

Inspire Your Weeknight with Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes


Food can be a huge budget-buster. In fact, a moderate-cost food plan for a family of four can range from $206.40 to $246.40 per week . That’s just a regular week of groceries. Turkey Day makes November a notorious month for overspending on food. But you can make your food budget last longer by repurposing your Thanksgiving leftovers with tasty recipes that are easy to whip up.

Turkey Sandwiches


Slice a dinner roll in half. Add turkey, cheese, cranberry sauce, and stuffing for a Thanksgiving-style sandwich. Perfect for all the football you’ll be watching this weekend.

Turkey Tostadas


Introduce a Latin flair to your all-American leftovers by layering turkey, stuffing, fresh tomatoes, avocado, and cheese on top of a tostada. Add an over easy egg and breakfast is served.

Shepherd’s Pie


Make leftover mashed potatoes the star in a Thanksgiving-inspired Shepherd’s pie. Add in green beans, carrots, turkey, and gravy. Your family will never know it was the same food!

Turkey Pot Pie Stew


Transform leftovers in an easy stove top meal. Simply add celery, onions, and carrots to a pot with four cups of stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Throw in leftover turkey or ham and stir in a cup of mashed potatoes to create a creamy, thick consistency.

T-Day in a Blanket


Go handheld by rolling up turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and mashed potatoes inside of a crescent roll.

Freeze Your Thanksgiving Leftovers


If you’re hungover on turkey, treat yourself by tucking away Thanksgiving leftovers in the freezer. Ham and turkey freeze beautifully—as well as leftover butter and cheese that you might not need for awhile. Use plastic gallon freezer bags and label each bag with the date so you can keep track of the shelf life.

If you need to take a temporary hiatus from gluten, baked goods like bread, rolls, and pies can be stashed in the freezer. Break out your frozen pecan pie in January for a New Year’s party. Simply reheat in the oven. Your future self will thank you.

Make Use of Baking Supplies


Stocked up on baking supplies for awhile? Use airtight containers for flour and sugar, which can extend their shelf life. Baking soda makes for really good household cleaner. Sprinkle on countertops, bathroom sinks, and bathtubs to remove stains and grime.

White vinegar can be used to remove dust mites and carpet odors as well as clogged drains, microwaves, garbage disposals, and soap scum.

Make Use of Thanksgiving Decor


If you enjoy purchasing holiday decor, find ways to repurpose for future holidays and events. Solid colors, like white, can make an elegant statement throughout the year. Greenery and candles can be kept out for Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Try recycling materials like taffeta, plaid fabrics and burlap, which look great for a winterscape. Pumpkins and gourds can be dressed up with green and red ribbon or painted for a Christmas inspired look.

Swap Thanksgiving Leftovers with the Neighbors


If you get bored of eating the same leftovers for the next week, try swapping Thanksgiving leftovers with your next-door neighbors. By packaging up carved turkey, deviled eggs, and homemade pie, you get to try other tasty dishes from your neighbors and avoid going to the grocery store for a few days longer.

Donate to Your Local Homeless Shelter


Unused and nonperishable food items can be donated to your local homeless shelter to provide to those in need. If you overstocked on Thanksgiving items, things like canned soup, box mixes, and plastic cutlery are great things to donate to local nonprofits.

Create a Thanksgiving Happy Hour


Instead of spending money on Black Friday, invite the neighbors over for a Thanksgiving happy hour and repurpose leftovers into miniature bites. You’ve probably stocked up on alcohol and bottles of wine, so why not avoid holiday traffic with an at-home cocktail party? The social train keeps on rolling without busting into your wallet again.

Free up Your Finances

By stretching your dollars with Thanksgiving Day leftovers and decor, you help free up your finances to save for big-ticket items and your money goals.

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