The week of Thanksgiving always make me think of three specific things: travel, food, and shopping. Since I already waxed poetic over leftovers last week, I’ll take the spotlight off the turkey feast, and instead focus in on the intersections of food and travel as well as food and shopping.
When you are getting ready to drive or fly or bus or train to wherever it is you may be going, start by eating a good meal and then packing some food for the road. Travel food, whether it be airport chow, a roadside restaurant, or a Sheetz stop along the highway, is always going to be more expensive than food you prepare yourself. So make a sandwich. Fill a baggie with chips or veggies. Grab an apple. Fill a travel mug with coffee or a plastic bottle with water. And save yourself a fortune in travel food!
The same rules apply if you are braving the crowds at the stores on Friday morning. Don’t leave home with an empty stomach that will lead you to a mall food court. Make a plan. Pack a snack or even a whole meal. I’m a big fan of Black Friday shopping. I sit down with the sales flyers from the newspaper Thursday night and plan my attack based on the items I am pursuing and what time the stores they are in open. Last year I remember specifically having about 20 minutes in between when I was done getting a great deal on a frying pan at Macy’s and when Bed, Bath & Beyond opened. This was my breakfast window. I sat in my car in the parking lot enjoying the coffee I had brought from home and the granola bars I had in my purse for exactly this situation. It would have been really easy to run to McDonalds or Sheetz for a breakfast sandwich. But I didn’t need to spend that extra money (or consume the extra fat).
When you’re thinking about your Thanksgiving week adventures, plan ahead. Take some food with you. You’ll save a bunch of money. And while you’re at it….don’t forget to think about all the many things you are thankful for.