Happy Thanksgiving from Spend Matters!

The Spend Matters team is busy taking some much-needed R&R for the long holiday weekend. Beyond the content below (has it really been eight years worth of Thanksgivings??), we'd like to take a moment to especially thank our readers and sponsors, for their ongoing support. Now get out there and enjoy your turkey, wine, and Black Friday "deals"!

Also, here is a must-read from Buzzfeed: 15 Things You Didn't Know About The First Thanksgiving.

Giving Thanks -- In the United States today, we're celebrating Thanksgiving, a holiday that brings the entire country together in appreciation of the fall harvest. The modern day celebration was born out of an original autumn feast that the Plymouth settlers held following their first harvest in 1621. In contrast to the commercial nature of many of the other national and religious holidays we celebrate, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and appreciating what we have rather than commercial indulgence.

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.

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.

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.

Giving Thanks for a Free State Dinner -- Even though like many other entrepreneurs and business owners who feel that the socialists in the Executive and Legislative branches of government in Washington -- come on, I challenge you to tell me that the proposals on the board are anything but socialist in flavor -- are about to crash our hard working party and expropriate an absurd share of our profits to fund their wasteful and ineffective spending measures, I've got to hand it to some of their supporters, who literally just crashed a state dinner party dinner at Tax Payer expense.

Thankfulness, Money or Spend -- Which Offers the Greatest Return on Contentment? -- We can all recall from an early age having been reminded to say "Thank you", "Yes please", and "You're welcome". Such phrases comprise a portion of what might be called a transactional cycle of reciprocity. Alongside these admonishments and reminders, we were also reared with clichés like "Money doesn't buy happiness" and "Tis far better to give than to receive".

Spend Management on Turkey Day -- A Few Time and $$ Saving Tips -- As I wrote yesterday, time is perhaps the most important Thanksgiving ingredient. Time away from work, time with family and friends and -- the subject of today's post -- time in the kitchen. We all have special traditional dishes that our families expect to see on our Thanksgiving table. Some of these recipe's have been handed down through generations from when kitchen time was frequently continuous from one meal to the next -- not unlike the way good restaurant kitchens still function today.

A Time for Giving Thanks -- Today, I'd like to welcome Bart Richards as a guest blogger to Spend Matters. Bart is a Principal at The Claro Group. I've known Bart for some time, but my wife has known him even longer (they go back to the old Arthur Andersen pre-Enron days). Given AA's old reputation for a "think straight, talk straight" type of approach, I thought Bart would be perfect to shoot-from-the-hip and comment on what he is thankful for on this important holiday.

- Sheena Moore

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