Spend Matters: Best of Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you are spending your day enjoying good food, company and conversation (and football). In celebration of the holiday, we put together a few of our favorite past Turkey Day posts for you.

Spend Management: Thanksgiving Style -- Smart Money recently ran a great comparison of the costs of an organic/non-organic Thanksgiving. Too bad they also did not give us the Fair Trade options as well. Still, from a sourcing perspective, the findings are fascinating indeed, especially considering that they found an organic bird costs roughly 5x what a regular one does. But overall, how do the costs stack up? The story suggests that "the organic version of our turkey-day menu for eight people -- including dinner rolls, a salad and three bottles of organic wine -- totaled $295.36. That puts the organic premium for the meal at $126.35, or 75%, compared with the same shopping list filled with nonorganic options. All figures reflect prices from a New York City location of Whole Foods Market, an Associated Supermarket and a Food Emporium."

Thanksgiving Wishes: Peace, Graciousness and a Cheap but Good Turkey -- Thanksgiving, when celebrated properly, is an excellent metaphor for a well-managed and executed procurement and supplier management function. Perhaps the best illustration linking the two concepts together is turkey. Now, being the gourmet urban dweller I am, I've sourced Turkeys for as much as 4.59 bucks per pound from local free range, organic purveyors at the farmer's market. But trust me -- it's a complete waste when it comes to taste and overall guest for satisfaction. You can serve a much better turkey by buying a pre-frozen one that's already been injected with a brining solution -- saving you the brining process time, a critical step -- for 50% or less than the cost of a yuppie bird. And you'll feel all the better for it, getting a better result while saving your hard-earned dollars (or spending the difference on a donation to a local soup kitchen).

I'm Thankful For Those Gifted in the Visual Display of Quantitative Information -- This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful to have known for the past five years, one of the most gifted graphic artists and designers on the planet, Nate Burgos. In addition to being a consultant by day, Nate is host to the Design Feast site at night. Some of my clients have been fortunate enough to see Nate's handiwork upfront, especially when it comes to the visualization of numbers. It's brains like Nate which come up with visual displays of quantitative information like this which are extremely important at dispelling myths and fallacies in the world today and helping us get at the truth that data can present. Take, for example, taxes -- and who pays them in the US in great disproportion to their income.

Thanksgiving Well-Wishes: Don't Make Your Turkey a Family Loss Leader -- I'm one of these Americans -- I'm sure there many of us, but most are ashamed to admit it -- that secretly looks forward as much to the actual turkey itself on Thanksgiving (replete with the trimmings) as the family conversation around the table. There's something about a nearly dry, but hopefully not overcooked bird combined with the culinary accoutrements that is irresistible even to someone like me who generally strays away from poultry and meat. But this indulgence does not have to cost very much money. In fact, for many stores it's a big loss leader.

Up-tick in Weekend Holiday Spend -- How Should We Read the Numbers? -- As kick offs go, this past weekend following Thanksgiving was a bonanza for retail sales in the U.S. The National Retail Federation reported late Sunday that "According to a survey conducted over the weekend by BIGresearch, more shoppers visited stores and websites over Black Friday weekend – and spent more – than a year ago [with] 212 million shoppers visit[ing] stores and websites over Black Friday weekend, up from 195 million last year. People also spent more, with the average shopper this weekend spending $365.34, up from last year's $343.31. Total spending reached an estimated $45.0 billion."

-- Brianna Tonner

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