Meet our newest Mom Talk contributor, Michelle!

Let’s talk turkey. It’s that time of year—fall leaves are blowing, football is in full gear and turkeys are going for (almost) free! Yes, with my local grocery store piled high with discount Thanksgiving foods, I scored a practically free frozen turkey last week.

So what did I do with it? Yesterday, I double checked roasting times online, threw the now-thawed bird in the oven and served it up with all the traditional fixings. My best friend came over with her two kids and we sat down to Turkey Day: Part One.

Since my children have two pairs of gourmet grandparents in their lives who vie every year for the rights to host the family feast, I have never had to cook Thanksgiving dinner for my family. But last night, it wasn’t really Thanksgiving but just another dinner with friends, Pilgrim-style.

To make it easy and spend less, I served almost totally store-bought fare: turkey, boxed stuffing, instant mashed potatoes with canned gravy, canned cranberry sauce and the infamous green bean casserole made from frozen green beans. My bestie brought a huge pumpkin pie, fresh from the big box store bakery. Since there was no pressure to produce an elaborate holiday meal from scratch, we really took advantage of the deep discounts being offered at this time of year for these foods. The whole dinner barely cost $25, served 7 with tons of leftovers and I was easily able to put it all together in less than the time it took to roast the bird.

It was a fun and relaxing evening, the Thanksgiving dinner was a hit and those leftovers are already going fast. I’d definitely do it again.

So what would you do with a free turkey?

And do you think that serving store-bought stuffing and instant mashed potatoes is semi-homemade or sort-of cheating?

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