Simple December Menu

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Confession: I’m terrible at menu planning! I’ve tried and failed many times. But, when I do manage to keep up with menu planning, I’m always amazed at how much it helps out at dinnertime. So I’m determined to keep trying and to keep making progress.

That’s why I agreed to make Frugal Homeschool Family’s weeknight dinner menu this month – I figured that I can’t be the only one who could use a little nudge in this area.

So whether you want an entire month’s worth of dinners planned out for you this holiday season, or whether you just want a few fresh and simple ideas, make sure to take a look at the December menu I created for you – it’s free, it’s printable, it’s easy, and it includes links to delicious recipes for your convenience!

Details I shared on Frugal Homeschool Family:

Most of us like to indulge in the delicious desserts that are always at holiday parties! What we don’t love is when those fun treats cause the pounds to creep on while our kids are simultaneously going crazy from way too much sugar.

That’s why this month’s weeknight dinner menu is so fabulous – it was created with cold weather and holiday parties in mind! You’ll find a perfect mix of comfort foods and really clean, healthy meals. Every dinner is kid friendly, delicious, and takes less than 20 minutes to prepare – perfect for those busy December schedules!

>>Click here to download your FREE December menu plan!<<


Day 22 of Simple Organization.

PS Don’t forget that today is the LAST DAY to get all three of my eBooks for a total of only $2.24! Go here for details.


Happy Thanksgiving & Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Hopefully you’re having a lovely day with your family. But if you’re feeling a little frazzled right now, I recommend taking just a few minutes to read this Live More, Love More Thanksgiving Recipe at Hands Free Mama.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend instead of today, make sure to check out my ultimate last-minute Thanksgiving prep guide. It includes help with simplifying your schedule, menu tips, cleaning shortcuts, and simple activities for the kids!

You can also see all of my other Thanksgiving articles here.

And, after you’re finished lingering over too much pie, but before you throw out your leftover turkey pieces, make sure you read about how to make your own turkey stock from scratch – it’s a frugal, delicious, and incredibly healthy way to use every part of the turkey.

My favorite stock & soup recipe is a simple five-step tutorial on Frugal Indy’s site.

Homemade Broth and Turkey Noodle Soup:

Step One – Introduction

Step Two – Ingredient list & instructions for cooking the broth

Step Three – Separating broth from the other stuff

Step Four – Adding noodles to finish the soup (a really delicious gluten free noodle recipe is here)

Step Five – Freezing the remaining broth

And there you have it – homemade turkey noodle soup! My family absolutely loves eating this turkey noodle soup on Thanksgiving weekend and freezing the rest of the stock to have throughout the winter!

What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe - a perfect way to use leftover turkey!


Thanksgiving Menu

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{Photo credit Apolonia /}

It’s Thanksgiving week! Some of you have your turkeys thawing, your pies planned, and ingredients for your side dishes in your cupboards. The rest of us… well, we know that we need to plan something.

Whether you’re taking a side dish to a relative’s house for Thanksgiving or hosting the meal in your own home, having a menu in place will help tremendously!

Here’s an example of what I like to serve for Thanksgiving, including links to recipes I love or links to something that’s similar to a recipe I love:

Main Course:

Turkey – This isn’t quite how I prep a turkey. I stuff mine with STUFFING, I had no clue about the skin trick, and I cook mine in a turkey bag to help retain moisture. But, for those of you who have never prepped a whole Turkey before, this is a great video and I’m sure that Chef John’s turkey is delicious!


Stuffing – After trying this recipe, I’ll never make boxed stuffing again! If you’re using regular bread instead of gluten free bread, try using only half a loaf instead of a full loaf (gluten free loaves are tiny!). If you do want to buy stuffing, cook it in the bird for plenty of extra flavor.

Giblet Gravy - My husband makes this gravy every year and it is SO good!

Sweet potato casserole – Some years I top my sweet potato casserole with marshmallows. Other years I top it with pecans. And sometimes, I just bake the sweet potatoes whole and set out butter with brown sugar and marshmallows. Any way you make it, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving feast!

Mashed potatoes

Green beans or peas

Fruit – cranberry salad, clementines, applesauce, or a fruit salad

Bread – Consider making rolls or easy pumpkin muffins. If you want to buy rolls, buy Sister Shubert. They’re hands-down the best store bought rolls out there.

{Main Course Tip: If you’re short on time then skip a couple of side dishes or purchase a rotisserie chicken or two instead of making a turkey.}



Pumpkin Pie – If you only make one pie, make sure it’s pumpkin. A Thanksgiving classic, it’s also one of the easiest pies to make from scratch. And if you need a dairy-free whipped cream option to go with it, then give this 3-ingredient whipped cream recipe a try!

Apple Pie – If you must buy your Thanksgiving pie, then do yourself a favor and buy a Sarah Lee apple pie. It’s not your grandma’s recipe but it is the best store bought apple pie I’ve found.

Brownies or something else chocolate.

{Dessert tip: Need a simple gluten free pie crust? Check out this delicious recipe and this how-to video. If you can’t make your crust roll out properly, just lightly smash it into the pan like I do – you can’t tell a difference after it’s baked!}


Grape punch – I make this every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and nobody has a clue that it only takes two minutes to throw together!

Hot cider – buy a gallon of apple cider, dump it in a crock pot, and turn on the crock pot. Or simply microwave it by the cup.

{Beverage tip: If you’re really pressed for time, then just buy a few sodas and consider the beverages done!}

I also love this post on Money Saving Mom about the $9 Thanksgiving meal.

And if you’re cooking for gluten-sensitive guests, make sure to check out this incredibly helpful video about how to shop for a gluten free Thanksgiving.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?


25 Frugal Days of Christmas

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I’m so excited to be teaming up with Frugal Homeschool Family for this year’s 25 Frugal Days of Christmas series! Make sure to bookmark or pin this post so you can easily click back over to check out the fabulous new articles. (To keep things simple, I won’t be providing daily updates anywhere except right here on this post.)

Here are the fabulous details:

Join Frugal Homeschool Family for the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas


Are you seeking a meaningful Christmas season that doesn’t break the bank?

If so, look no further!

The 25 Frugal Days of Christmas are here!

Join us as 25 top bloggers bring you ideas, tips, and resources to help you make this Christmas full of BIG memories on a tiny budget.

Check back each day through Christmas and you’ll find fun, and frugal traditions, free printables, frugal decorating ideas, yummy recipes, simple DIY craft projects, and more!

Meet the bloggers joining us in the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas:

Heather from Frugal Homeschool Family. ~ Alecia from Learning 2 Walk.~ Carlie from Today’s Frugal Mom.~ Julie from Logger’s Wife. ~ Suzette from The Joy of Homemaking. ~ Meeghan from Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. ~ Annette from In All You Do. ~ Bonnie Rose from Write Bonnie Rose. ~ Caroline from The Modest Mom. ~ Sherryl from Simply Sherryl. ~ Tabitha from Meet Penny.~ Monique from Living Life and Learning. ~ Honey from Honey’s Life. ~ Felice from Home for Learning. ~ Sarah from Early Bird Mom. ~ Yvie from Gypsy Road. ~ Davonne from Davonne Parks. ~ Crystal from Crystal’s Tiny Treasures. ~ Tonia from The Sunny Patch. ~ Monica from Happy and Blessed Home. ~ Stephanie from The Multi’ Taskin’ Mom. ~ Janell from Saving You Dinero. ~ Kim from Not Consumed. ~ Kelli from Adventures in Child Rearing. ~ Pam from Keeping Life Creative. ~ Sharla from The Chaos and the Clutter. ~ Alicia from Extreme Christmas Savings. ~ Laurie from Inspiring NH Kids.

Sponsors of the 25 Frugal Days of Christmas:

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Special reminder: We are all fallible and opinions expressed by the participants – as well as products offered by the wonderful sponsors – are not guaranteed to reflect complete Biblical accuracy. Wisdom and discretion is advised. Thank you!

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

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