First things first: If you’re still menu planning for this Thanksgiving (which, by the way, is totally okay!), check out my Thanksgiving recipes blog for lots of simple ideas.
Now let’s get to leftovers…we’re all excited about them for a day or so, and then they just start taking up room in the refrigerator.
Here’s a tip: Playing with ethnic flavor profiles is a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers without feeling like you’re serving the same meal every night. Try a Mexican menu with my Turkey Taquitos, Sweet Potato Empanadas, and Cranberry Salsa. Or maybe a more Asian-inspired route with my simple Turkey Pad Thai.
For more of my Thanksgiving leftovers ideas, check out this feature from Food Network Magazine for more than a dozen ways to use up turkey, cranberry sauce and potatoes with delicious results.
Speaking of post-Thanksgiving ideas, buy some non-perishable items right after Thanksgiving for next year (if you have the pantry space, of course). Think canned cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, canned corn, etc. They’re always on sale right after the holiday.
Also, if you haven’t yet, consider doing a pre-holiday cleaning and fill boxes with clothes, toys and household goods to donate. Yes, it’s a nice tax write-off, but this habit also curbs overconsumption tendencies, even at the grocery store.
One last note: Squeezed by the economy this year and feeling the crunch extra hard as we head into the holidays? Volunteer at a homeless shelter, food bank, or soup kitchen with your family (you could even try it on Thanksgiving morning). There’s nothing like helping those who are less fortunate than you to make you feel grateful for what you do have, which will curb overspending and keep the holidays focused on what matters: the people in your life.