Blessing Bags are a random act of kindness to help others, and you can use this list to create a full Thanksgiving meal for someone in need for as little as $30.
This series of articles is designed to help families put a frugal Thanksgiving meal on the table.
Start at the beginning: Frugal $50 Thanksgiving Meal
Skip to the You’ve Been Gobbled printable
Thanksgiving Blessing Bags
A Thanksgiving Blessing Bag is a bag or basket you leave for someone in need. It can be a random act of kindness or a service project. Most recently I saw this posted on the blog for The Birthday Project.
Very much like my previous two shopping lists, you load up on tasty things to leave for someone. You can leave a blessing like this on a struggling neighbor’s porch, drop this off for a single parent , or bring the kids to visit an elderly person who is squeezing by on social security. Even if they are eating Thanksgiving dinner somewhere else, this is all good stuff that will make a great meal anytime.
$40 Thanksgiving Blessings Basket Shopping List:
Baking – pumpkin pie filling 30 oz $2.89
Baking – ready shortbread crust 6 oz $1.89
Baking – whipped cream topping mix 2.6 oz box $2.99
Candy – chocolate kisses 11 oz bag $3.00
Canned goods – corn 15.25 oz can $0.50 x 2 = $1.00
Canned goods – cranberry sauce 14 oz can $1.00
Canned goods – gravy 10.5 oz can $0.79 x 2 = $1.58
Canned goods – green beans 14.5 oz $0.50 x 2 = $1.00
Canned goods – sweet potatoes/yams 40 oz can $2.79
Checkout – grocery store gift card (for turkey) $15.00
Packaged bakery – rolls brown n serve 13 oz pack $1.50
Packaged food – instant mashed potatoes 26.7 oz box $2.59
Packaged food – stovetop stuffing 6 oz box $0.89 x 2 = $1.78
Total blessing bag shopping $39.01
If you take out the top three items for pumpkin pie it is $31.24. But not as fun. And you can take out the chocolate to bring it under $30.
*These are the regular prices from the Hannaford and Wegmans sites. I know you can do better at Market Basket and Aldi, and then there are the sales flyers.
You could find some printables to include, like this vintage paper doll.
I would include a mason jar with Just Add Water Chocolate Mug Cake
You’ve Been Gobbled
You can include a “You’ve been gobbled” sign as well. I made this one up. This one is just to let the receiver know what it is, it does not have a reverse side. I did not want to put pressure on them to do a similar gift, so I just asked for a random act of kindness. And it has a Thanksgiving Emily Dickinson poem on it. Because you can never have too much Emily.
Text from the You’ve Been Gobbled printable PDF:
“You’ve Been Gobbled!
We are grateful for our many blessings,
and pass one onto you.
Please enjoy this gift and
pass on a random act of kindness.
With love and thanks, your secret admirers
God gave a Loaf to every Bird–
But just a Crumb–to Me–
I dare not eat it–tho’ I starve–
My poignant luxury–
To own it–touch it–
Prove the feat–that made the Pellet mine–
Too happy–for my Sparrows chance–
For Ampler Coveting–
It might be Famine–all around–
I could not miss an Ear–
Such Plenty smiles upon my Board–
My Garner shows so fair—
I wonder how the Rich–may feel–
An Indiaman–An Earl–
I deem that I–with but a Crumb–
Am Sovereign of them all–
Download the You’ve Been Gobbled printable PDF
I would make this a day-long project to do with the kids. Start out by talking about being grateful for what you have, and how some people are less fortunate during the holidays. Take your kids with you to the grocery store to select the items you will include. If you’re ambitious perform a few random acts of kindness along the way, like leaving quarters at the coin-operated rides (my store still has these). Take them to the dollar store and give them each a dollar to pick something to include. At home make up some mug cake or hot cocoa mix, and maybe bake a batch of cookies together to add to your surprise. If they are young enough have them color Thanksgiving cards, or the older ones can write a couple lines about what they are thankful for (do not include your full name or address!). Assemble your bags.
When it is time to deliver decide whether you want the kids to be present or not. This will depend on their ages and who you are giving it to. If you have a single mom friend the kids might like to visit then do that. If it is a neighbor you don’t want your little one asking them why they’re poor. Let dad sneak up, ring the bell, and run like mad back to the car for a quick getaway.
If you don’t know someone to give your blessing to you can call your local church and ask, or you can even drive around and find a likely house (safety first!).
Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times Series:
Frugal $50 Thanksgiving Meal
From Scratch Thanksgiving Menu
From Scratch $50 Shopping Cart
Store Bought $50 Shopping Cart
Thanksgiving Blessing Bags
Next: Quickie Thanksgiving Recipes
Frugal Dinner Recipes and Costs
Frugal Dessert Recipes and Costs
Make Ahead Thanksgiving Timeline
Frugal Thanksgiving Links
Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe Links
Thrifty Thanksgiving Pinterest Boards
Shared with Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Inspire Me Monday, Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Linky Party, Merry Monday, Motivation Monday, The Party Bunch, Say G’day Saturday, Silver Pennies Sundays, Sincerely Paula’s No Rules Weekend Blog Party, Think and Make Thursday, Turn It Up Tuesday, Wake Up Wesdnesday and Oh My Heartsie Girl’s Wordless Wesdnesday
Want to Know What the Homeless REALLY Want in Care Packages?
* Also see our Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar – RACK Printables and Links OR
Care Package for the Hard Times Kitchen series
We hope you enjoyed our Thrifty Thanksgiving for Tough Times – Thanksgiving Blessing Bags post
Vintage postcard images from Graphics Fairy
What a fantastic resource! You have made this so easy to do. Thank you and I’ll be sharing!
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Thanks for sharing this lovely idea at the Say G’Day linky party. I’ve just pinned this to the Say G’Day Saturday board.
Hope you have had a fabulous week!
Natasha in Oz
Yay Pinterest! Thanks!
Why thank you, thanks for hosting!
Than you for your delightful site./ I am a great grandmother, I live on a very limited budget,so this list and a few of the others will help me so much. God Bless you.
I try to help! It takes a lot of work to make the lists with pricing and everything, but if I’m reading a post and it doesn’t have prices it seems like it always ends up costing me more than it said.