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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Had to Nix the Takeout Chinese Meal for Christmas Eve . . .

 . . . but its all good, we'll still be having an Asian dinner that doesn't take much of my time. As it turned out, both daughters will be out with the car in the early evening on Sunday. If I waited for them to come home and then go get the takeout, we'd be eating dinner around 7:30. I think I've got this covered.

Here's my plan:

On Monday I cooked up some stir-fry beef and onions. When it finished cooking, I could tell it was way more than the 4 of us would eat, so I froze about third of the cooked meat. Today I bought frozen egg rolls, ready to heat and eat, some Asian stir-fry veggies, a tub of tofu, and some whole wheat spaghetti pasta. I'll make a beef and tofu chow mien-type main dish with the noodles, meat, tofu, and frozen veggies, then have egg rolls on the side. It should be quick and easy to throw together. Not including the cost of the already cooked meat, I spent $11.50. That's not bad compared to what I was prepared to spend for takeout Chinese. So, I'm happy with it.

Have you needed to modify any of your holiday plans somewhat last-minute this year? Wishing you well as your finalize all of your work ahead of Christmas!


  1. Way to adapt the plan to meet your needs!

    Yes, we had intended to have a purchased brisket for Christmas dinner. This is more expensive than I usually spend on meat, but it's for Christmas, right? However, a little over 3 weeks ago, my husband got a bull elk while out hunting (his first ever). So the processing fees needed to come from somewhere, and I reduced our grocery budget for the month. It ended up being $350 for the processing but we netted 148 lbs of beautiful, packaged (grass-fed and essentially organic!) meat for the freezer. And to that end, we're having steaks from the freezer for Christmas dinner instead of the planned brisket.


    1. Hi Cat,
      It sounds like your changes were for a good reason. All of that elk, like you said, grass fed and organic -- that has great value for your family and will reduce your grocery spending in the long run. Enjoy those Christmas steaks!.

  2. I think every year I make a plan but then end up making adjustments to the menu. This year is no different. I am having fewer people over for Christmas so I need to reduce the menu options (hey, that's good!). I'll stick with more basic and make way less food than I expected.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I totally understand. My best plans are always needing adjustments later. The upside to your changes is you won't have to cook as much. Have a merry Christmas with your family, Alice.

  3. My family and I have a pre Christmas Eve tradition - take out pizza. It's simple and easier on me since I host Christmas Eve dinner at my house with family and then attend church services at 8 pm. You gotta have wiggle room sometime. Your homemade Chinese takeout sounds really good.

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and all the commentors here.

    1. Hi Shelby,
      I think taking it a little easier where you can is important when you have a lot going on. The takeout pizza will be tasty, and spare you some energy and time.
      Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas, Shelby!

  4. I suspect that most of us have learned to adapt our plans--it's an essential part of living within a budget! So far, so good this year with my Christmas Eve plans.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Fingers crossed nothing comes up and messes with your plans. You're right, adapting is something we have to do when our budgets are limited.
      Have a merry Christmas, Kris!

  5. Both of my sons have COVID, so we are definitely modifying our plans this year. They will not be going to the big gathering at my FIL's house on Christmas Day, so I am making the food they had volunteered to bring. Not sure what the plans look like for our immediate family. We're waiting to see how their illnesses progress to see when we might have our family celebration. Otherwise, we are gathering with my side of the family on Christmas Eve with Chinese takeout on the menu.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Oh no! I hope your sons can see their grandfather at another time in the near future. That must be a bummer for them. In 2021, we had to postpone our Christmas celebration for 2 weeks because of illness. You do what you have to do. At least your sons found out about their Covid infections when they did, and you could all make adjustments sooner rather than later.
      Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas, Live and Learn.

    2. Timing is everything, and it is good that they know they are contagious now, so they won't be around the 90 year old and a 2 month old who will be there on Christmas.

  6. Our extended family are sometimes late in making plans, so I am ditching most of my Christmas Eve plans due to a last-minute family dinner invitation an hour away. It's midday, though, so folks can try to get home before it's too foggy or too many deer, etc., on the roads; so I think I'm going to have to cook both breakfast and supper prep before 10 a.m., so we'll have something festive to come home to in the evening. Like Cat, I've decided to do elk for Christmas dinner. We have a nice filet roast for that. Then I'll cook the ham we bought on the 26th, with stuffing and other fixings, for good holiday leftovers.

    Merry Christmas and all the best in 2024, Everybody! I so enjoy reading everything here. Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      That's good that the get together will be midday, as you said for safer driving conditions. It's too bad you didn't know about this earlier, though. But you are very good at adapting, so I think the changes you'll make will all go well.

      Have a very merry Christmas with your family, Sara.


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