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Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy. All things I know I am looking forward to this coming Thursday on Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite holidays. The tradition in my home is to have my family come to our house, and I cook a delicious meal to share. My mom brings the pumpkin pie and fruit salad, and I cook two different turkeys. Over the years we have had friends and neighbors join us as well.

Whether you are hosting or traveling, you are probably responsible for bringing or making something to share. Here are some of my favorite tips to make the week ahead easier and Thanksgiving Day a truly special occasion:

Make a list, and check it twice! Write down everyone who is coming. Ask them to bring a dish to share. My mom makes the best pumpkin pie and I would never think of having it come from anywhere else. Maybe someone on your list doesn’t cook or bake but can grab paper plates, cups, utensils, paper towels, etc. They could chip in toward the cost of the dinner. Everyone wants to do their fair share. Let them help you and take care of some of the work.

Look over your list, then head to the store. If organized, you will save money and time. Make a list of everything you need or want for dinner and dessert. Check your pantry to make sure you need it on the list. Check out all of the flyers to see where the best price is. Some items are priced to move this week, while others you should have already grabbed. Some stores have promotional deals where if you spend a certain amount of money, you get a free turkey. If you don’t need a turkey, grab it and donate it.

Enjoy this day with your friends and family. When you are knee-deep in the mashed potatoes, take a moment to look around the room. Look at your children, your parents, neighbors, friends and family. I love that I am able to host holiday meals at my home, and that everyone enjoys coming and sharing the day with us. Being thankful for the people in your life is what this day is all about. The leftovers are pretty nice, too.

In my monthly class at The Post-Star, I go into detail about using coupons, saving money, finding monthly deals and how it will benefit your family. We are in the process of planning the class’s upcoming dates. Feel free to call 518-742-3309 or go to poststar.com/couponclass for more information.

Head over to my blog at Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing to find some great deals around the region this week. These will point you in the right direction to saving more money. Post your questions, comments and deals in the comments section. Let’s start saving money together.

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Kimberly Butler is a mom, wife and child care provider located in Queensbury and writes a weekly column for The Post-Star. Write to her at kimberlybutlerthepoststar@gmail.com or visit her Making Cent$ About Extreme Couponing Blog at www.poststar.com/blogs/making_cents.

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