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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Holidays


Some frugal ideas for your Thanksgiving meal

Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Barton County, University of Missouri Extension


Most people want to provide a special Thanksgiving meal for family and friends, but no one wants to overspend. University of Missouri Extension has a series of brochures that can help you to prepare meals for less.


Three Holiday Dishes for Ten Dollars publication iconThree Holiday Dishes for Ten Dollars has recipes for a sweet potato casserole, pumpkin custard and pumpkin or squash cookies. Many of the items in these recipes are on sale this time of year. The total cost of the ingredients used for these recipes is $10 or less. Your initial grocery bill may seem expensive if you have to purchase all the spices, but the spices will last a long time and can be used in many different recipes.


Pumpkin Custard



  • 1 cup sugar
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 16-ounce can pumpkin
  • ¼ cup margarine, softened
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk


To prepare:
Mix sugar, salt, flour and spices. Add pumpkin, margarine, eggs and milk. Mix well and pour into a casserole dish sprayed with vegetable oil. Bake in oven at 325 degrees F for 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.


Pumpkin or Squash Cookies



  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin or squash
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup raisins, optional
  • ½ cup chopped nuts, optional


To prepare:
Cream sugars and margarine together and add eggs one at a time. Stir in pumpkin or squash, then add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix well. Add vanilla, raisins and nuts. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. If desired, frost cookies when they are cool.


The other recipe in this brochure is for sweet potato casserole. This brochure and two others, titled Two Meals for Ten Bucks, can be found online at All brochures have shopping lists as well as the recipes.


  • N989: Two Meals for Ten Bucks
  • N991: Three Holiday Dishes for Ten Dollars
  • N992: Two Meals for Ten Bucks


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Last update: Monday, November 21, 2011