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Thanksgiving: The Ultimate Money-Saving Meal

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Gotta love a chef who knows how to save you time and money.

thanksgiving dinner

Susannah Locketti: Sandra Lee, host of the Food Network's "Semi-Homemade Cooking" and "Sandra's Money Saving Meals," saves moms time and money this Thanksgiving with an array of cooking, baking, and holiday tips sure to keep your wallets and bellies stuffed! I had a chance to chat with Sandra this week -- and here's what she's serving up (affordably) for Thanksgiving ...

"Sandra's Money Saving Meals: Fall Feast" episode, airing now on FN, highlights a Cider Glazed Turkey, Spicy Brown Sugar Carrots, and Sage Mushroom Stuffing. Pumpkin Cream Pie and Toasted Cider Cocktails round out this affordable yet elegant meal that requires minimal cost and effort, yet yields an impressive holiday feast for your family. Give the turkey a try ... it sounds amazing and makes brining seem easy! I love that Sandra tops off each money-saving meal with a cocktail, too ... so needed after all the food labor!

Sandra's Round Two Recipes (not to be confused with leftovers, ladies) allow you to cook once and eat twice. Thanksgiving Quesadillas and Stuffed Mushrooms make use of dual ingredients for cost-effective recipes to clear out the post-holiday fridge.

Sandra also offered some fun ideas for moms to decorate their holiday table inexpensively -- use your food as the focal point. This could be as simple as an ├ęclair arrangement to showcasing your dressed turkey as a centerpiece with inexpensive candles. Sandra's practical approach makes sense because it encourages you to be resourceful, yet still have a lovely table to showcase. In need of a little more inspiration? Check out her magazine, Sandra's Semi-Homemade, which features three different tablescape themes each magazine -- one of which always revolves around food. Love that!

Be on the lookout for Sandra's upcoming holiday specials on HGTV, airing every Saturday after Thanksgiving for four weeks beginning at 8 PM EST. Expect tons of decorating ideas as well as cost-effective solutions for holiday cooking. Next month, Sandra shares with me and momlogic readers her best tips for holiday baking, the most affordable meat choices for the holidays, and some of her favorite money-saving gadgets for gift-giving. Can't wait, Sandra!

next: Mom Has Thanksgiving Reservations
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