If you’re looking for ways to save money this Thanksgiving, I have a few tips for you. As an added benefit, you’ll also be helping the environment when you implement these ideas.
1. Bring in the outside: A lot of people in your Santa Cruz County home, plus the heat from the oven, can make even a November day uncomfortably hot. Instead of turning on the A/C, open some windows to cool your home down.
2. Buy only a few organic foods: Organic food is usually more expensive than conventionally grown food. Instead of buying a lot of organic groceries, purchase only key organic items that are most likely to transmit pesticides to you. Check out the Dirty Dozen list to discover the produce you should consider purchasing from the organic section for your holiday meal.
3. Compost: Add your Thanksgiving fruit and vegetable trimmings to your Santa Cruz County home’s compost bin, or start one if you don’t already have one. Next year’s garden will thank you.
4. Eat locally grown food: Depending on where you live, there may not be much locally grown produce available in November, but there are other foods you can purchase locally. Apples and apple butter top my list of things to buy locally this fall. Purchase turkeys and chickens grown by local farmers. Buy delicious homemade pies and bread at your local farmer’s market.
5. Plan a potluck: Instead of doing all the work yourself, make this turkey day a potluck. It’s easier and cheaper for you, and allows family and friends to feel more a part of the event. This is a wonderful new tradition you can start, which others may well continue for years (and generations) to come.
6. Save leftovers in glass jars: Instead of putting leftovers in plastic bags or Styrofoam containers, use glass jars. Save glass jam jars or spaghetti sauce jars and reuse them to package leftovers.
7. Wash and reuse: Use cloth napkins and tablecloths that can be washed and used again. If you don’t already have some, consider making your own cloth napkins out of material you already have in your Santa Cruz County home. Not only are they eco-friendly and inexpensive, they’re also elegant and attractive.
Don’t stress about doing everything perfectly. Putting just a few of these ideas into practice saves money and the environment.
I wish you and your loved ones a very warm and happy Thanksgiving!
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