Cheap, effective cough remedy

It’s the time of year when cough medicines are in-demand. But the prices can be high at a time when you’ll pay anything to just feel better.

The good news is there’s a remedy that recent studies say works just as well as the store-bought stuff, and it’s probably already in your cupboard.

Best of all, it tastes a lot better!

National Day of Giving

The National Day of Giving has continued to grow in popularity each year. Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it’s a practical way to add some giving to your thanks.

Good Grocer is getting in on the giving this year with a $100 donation to the MN Hunger Initiative. We’re inspired by the work they’re doing and happy to support their mission!

Important bonus: Facebook matches any donations made to non-profits on GivingTuesday, so join us in taking advantage of this offer! Learn more about Facebook matching here.

Click here to learn more about how you can join the movement and give to your favorite nonprofit.

Where to volunteer on Thanksgiving

If you’d like to serve a meal on Thanksgiving, it can take a little time to track down what organizations are open and serving food that day.

So, we compiled a list of who is open and needs volunteers. Some require in-person training beforehand, so sign up as soon as you can.

Salvation Army
The Twin Cities Thanksgiving meal is full already, but click here to see opportunities in greater Minnesota.

Meals on Wheels—Kitchen
There is always a need for volunteers to help prepare and pack the meals that go out. To sign up, click here.

Union Gospel Mission—St. Paul
Orientation is necessary. Sign up here.

Open Arms of Minnesota
Open Arms distributes frozen turkeys with sides the week before Thanksgiving or a fresh meal the day of. They need volunteers to make and deliver the meals leading up to Thanksgiving as well as on the actual day. Click here to sign up.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church
Thanksgiving lunch is served from 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Call 763-788-9427

Do you know of an opportunity to serve on Thanksgiving that isn’t listed here? Reach out to to spread the word!

Doing Good Together: National Family Volunteer Day

Doing Good Together is a nonprofit organization with a mission of “Empowering families to raise caring, engaged children by offering unique programs and events, valuable services, and fun activities that promote kindness and giving.”

Their National Family Volunteer Day November 16th is at Midtown Global Market. It’s a free service fair with opportunities to do good with your family in hands-on activities.

When: November 16, 2018 5:30–7:30
Where: Midtown Global Market 920 East Lake Street

Where to get a free Thanksgiving meal

Everyone should get to experience the post-Thanksgiving-meal food coma if they want to. But for many, the expense is just too much. If you or your friends and family members need help, these organizations will make sure your table (and your stomach) are full.

There are some steps for signing up in advance, so do it as soon as you can.

Note: many organizations haven’t released information on their Thanksgiving plans, so this is far from a comprehensive list. We’ll send out updates on Twitter and Facebook as we confirm details of other meals.

Loaves and Fishes (St. Stephen’s church in Minneapolis)

Open Arms of MN

Meals on Wheels

Union Gospel Mission: 435 University Ave E. St. Paul
register for a free bag of Thanksgiving groceries

Marie Sandvik Center at 1112 East Franklin Ave, Minneapolis

St. Matthew Lutheran Church–4101 Washington St. NE
Columbia Heights, MN 

School lunch share tables feed hungry students

There is a lot of need and a lot of waste happening at the same time in school lunchrooms. While many kids are still hungry at the end of their lunch hour, pounds of perfectly good food are being tossed out by others.

The solution? School lunch share tables.

Students who are full but still have food remaining, like apples and unopened cartons of milk, can place the unwanted food on the share table. Students who are still hungry can grab whatever they want for free.

Find out how it works and see if your local public school has a share table.

Finding a home for the ugly potato (and other ugly produce)

Some organizations are finding a way to solve food access and food waste issues at the same time.

Meet Great Plains Food Bank, a North Dakota food bank that is fighting hunger by seeing the value in ugly produce that grocery stores are tossing in the landfill.

Their story is inspiring and sheds light on how one issue could be solved with the other.

The website Eat By Date can reduce food waste

Food waste is often unintentional at home. Some packages say “best before” and others “sell by.” But when is it actually no longer safe to eat the food?

It can be confusing, so many people play it safe and just toss food out by whatever date is listed—regardless of the sell by, eat by, or best by phrase before it.

That’s a problem because food expiration dates aren’t federally regulated, so we could be wasting perfectly good food.

If you find yourself in a similar dilemma, a useful resource to check is the website Eat By Date. When in doubt, you can look up the food in question and potentially curb the amount of food that is unnecessarily wasted in your home.

Seven tips for a Thanksgiving dinner in your budget

  1. Get a frozen turkey. The biggest price tag at a Thanksgiving meal is the turkey: it makes up about 40 percent of the overall cost. You can save money by choosing  a store-brand frozen turkey instead of a fresh bird. Don’t forget to allow enough time to thaw the bird: one day in the fridge for every five pounds.
  2. Speaking of 40 percent of the cost of the meal, are you sure you need an entire turkey? You may be surprised to learn you only need a turkey breast instead. The preparation is faster and easier too! To calculate how much you need, check here.
  3. If you’re making the stuffing yourself, buy day-old bread. It’s just as good and a fraction of the cost.
  4. Potatoes are cheaper by the bag. Split them with a friend or donate extras.
  5. We’ve probably all got a jar or two of herbs in the cupboard that we’ll never use up. Instead of paying for more than you need, get herbs out of bulk bins where you can purchase only the small amounts you need.
  6. Buy canned goods ahead of time. Thanksgiving canned goods usually go on sale the week before Thanksgiving.
  7. Choose frozen over fresh. Like canned goods, frozen ingredients can cost a lot less than fresh. Not convinced they’re just as good as fresh? Check out this article.