Last-minute budget Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping list for emergency party planning

Uh-oh, someone bailed and now you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner last-minute! Congrats! Are you nervous? Well don't be; here's a surefire emergency Thanksgiving dinner planner with quick, easy grocery shopping list including stores with best prices on holiday foods to feed a party of 10. For best prices, buy supplies on the grocery list from Aldi, Save-a-Lot, Meijer, Dollar Tree or Walmart.


large foil roasting pan with handles
4 disposable baking pans with lids (2-pack at Dollar Tree)
25 square-foot package heavy duty aluminum foil
10 heavy paper plates
10 good disposable cups
plastic cutlery


turkey (choose a large one and freeze leftovers)

green bean casserole: 
6 cans cut green beans
1 large can mushroom soup
1 large bag french fried onions (Walmart)

candied sweet potatoes (you'll use some ingredients for other recipes, noted with an *)
8 large sweet potatoes
2 # bag brown sugar*
2 # stick butter or margarine (2 boxes)*
one large can pineapple or orange juice concentrate

1 24 oz loaf of white bread
one large onion
one stalk of celery
one large box or can chicken broth
two sticks of butter, above

one bag fresh cranberries
1/2 cup white sugar

one can refrigerator biscuits or King's Hawaiian rolls
5 # white round potatoes (cook and add two sticks butter)
two frozen pies (you'll do homemade next year when you have more time!)
one 8 ounce tub whipped topping
one gallon milk
cornstarch or flour for gravy (1/4 cup)
poultry seasoning or sage
garlic powder
pumpkin pie spice (you can use ginger, allspice, mace, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon if you have them separately, otherwise get a blend)

2 bottles medium red wine such as Pinot Noir or Carmenere
1 bottle semi-dry white wine like Chardonnay
12 pack session IPA like Founder's All Day
ice water
several bottles soda

Clean out refrigerator, use up leftovers and thaw turkey. Use the grocery list to go shopping or shop ahead and get best prices on holiday foods. Visit my blog Great Food 4U for recipes and ways to make this Thanksgiving dinner happen. Visit for ways to coordinate large gatherings in small spaces. 

Best and worst Halloween candy alternatives: Trick-or-treat candy safety list

With All Hallows Eve right around the corner, you may be thinking Halloween candy. Maybe you want candy alternatives. You might substitute prizes for candy. But you'll probably get flak. You think you're being so health conscious and forward-thinking. But the plebs (aka your family) don't. They just see no Trick or Treat candy. My husband said we'd probably get egged if I gave out books (insert eye roll). So here's a guide to Halloween candy shopping plus a list of the best and worst Halloween candy options to give out.

Halloween candy safety test (from the spouse of a militant candy-sorter) Check wrappers. Candy-checking parents are rabid on loose wrappers. Choose Trick or Treat candy that is double-wrapped, or factory sealed at both ends. Skip the twisted wrappers such as those on Tootsie Rolls and bubble gum.

Skip folded candy wrappers too. Many a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup goes in the trash after wrappers failed dad's safety detectors. You  know those yummy little Palmer's chocolates shaped like bloody fingers, severed ears and such? They are acceptable only if they are not foil-wrapped. The foil comes un...foiled very easily.

Halloween candy taste test. Please for the love of Mike, skip those temptingly cheap mixed assortments that are heavy on junk candy: The nastiest candies are: Mary Jane, Root Beer Barrels, Boston Baked Beans (shudder), Mike and Ikes, Dots, Good and Plenties, Hot Tamales and peanut butter kisses. These are not trick-or-treat candy. These are not any kind of candy. They may be petrified rodent feces. No child in the history of Trick or Treat has every actually eaten a Mary Jane and lived. Or those ghastly banana chews. Pass the Xantac just thinking of it. Sixlets, Laffy Taffy and Now and Laters are debatable--some kids like 'em but most don't.

Choose Halloween candy made in America. C'mon, seriously, you can find a decent Trick or Treat candy without imports. This isn't referring to fine Dutch chocolates. This is the junky--sometimes unsafe-Chinese candy: Warheads, Toxic Sludge and some others. Safety--and common sense--first.

In summary, just pass out well-wrapped chocolates and candy bars and no one gets hurt. The more people pass candy bars out for Trick or Treat, the fewer fights when mom gets caught nabbing the chocolate candy. Since they don't allow the distribution of wine at Halloween, parents need a legal alternative. Did I mention chocolate??
Neighbors, think of it as your civic duty.

Sugar Bear, obese wife egg Honey Boo Boo to obesity, spite Mama June weight-loss

WEtv Mama June Shannon is flaunting big weight-loss after gastric bypass and plastic surgery, but she's taken a lot of flak for not helping her obese daughter "Honey Boo Boo" Alana Thompson lose weight. Well, it seems that as per Alana, the reality television mom is trying to feed her better. But while most parents praise her efforts, two are sabotaging it: HBB's own dad "Sugar Bear" Mike Thompson and her new stepmom. On June's new show "From Not to Hot," morbidly obese Jennifer Lamb body-shamed Shannon, accused her of abusing and depriving Honey Boo Boo, and then stuffed the 11-year-old full of junk food. Are Sugar Bear and Lamb egging Alana to obesity to spite June?  Sugar Bear, obese wife egg Honey Boo Boo to obesity, spite Mama June weight-loss

Emma Thompson boasts weight loss on Kate Middleton trainer Louise Parker diet but cost will choke you!

 Oscar-winner Emma Thompson is celebrating weight loss that dropped her two dress sizes. The "Harry Potter" star credits the personal trainer of Kate Middleton for her success. Thompson gushed over guru Louise Parker, who helped her shed pounds with a no-diet system that fit her personal style. But before you run out and buy the "The Louise Parker Method," get a taste of the cost. This highly-touted method beats obesity and tames eating, if you can swallow the price. Emma Thompson weight loss down to Kate Middleton trainer, but get a taste of the cost

Dr. Oz miracle weight loss by ketogenic bowling cuts carbs, calories easier than you think

Obesity fighter and TV Health guru Dr. Oz shared a new weight loss system and this miracle diet is so crazy-easy you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before. It's called bowling and features Total 10 Diet protein superfood bowls to cut carbs and calories but also hunger and cravings. A recent episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" explored the magic behind food bowls, plus three power bowl recipes. Are you hungry for more? Dr. Oz miracle weight loss by ketogenic bowling cuts carbs, calories easier than you think

Supersize vs Superskinny' 'My 600-lb Life' show diet drives obesity, weight loss

Does every episode of "My 600-lb Life" leave you nodding your head as you watch how folks eat? It should, because like "Supersize vs Superskinny" these shows prove you are what you eat. It may get old to read about links between diet, obesity, and weight loss, but it's crucial all the same. It can't be overstated that obesity is at an epidemic stage and it's killing more folks faster than ever. Here are a few mythbusters on obesity and weight loss plus shopping tips on getting the healthiest most diet-friendly foods.   Supersize vs Superskinny' 'My 600-lb Life' show diet drives obesity, weight loss

DIY crafts: Homemade cat beds, personalized pet beds from recycled materials

Do you love your kitties? Do you love buying cat toys and treats for your pets for holiday gifts? You can make cheap pet beds, specifically cat beds easy with recycled materials. Make DIY crafts of personalized pet beds your animals will love. You'll save a lot of money making homemade cat beds. Half the fun for a cat and cat owner is to find just where kitty will decide to sleep next. The last place he'll probably sleep is the expensive cat beds you bought! DIY crafts: Homemade cat beds, personalized pet beds from recycled materials |

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