Halloween has candy and New Year’s Eve has champagne, but the highlight of Thanksgiving Day is the food. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and some variety of pie are just some of the delicious goodies everyone is looking forward to. The trickiest part of planning this type of dinner is keeping down the cost without sacrificing your favorite foods. Try these tips in order to save money on your Thanksgiving dinner.
Make it a potluck
A potluck dinner is when each guest of the dinner brings a dish to contribute to the meal. Juice, paper goods, and store made desserts are great options to suggest to guests who don’t cook. For your guests with culinary skills, ask them to make a Thanksgiving classic like mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, or a harvest salad. Make a list of what each guest is supposed to bring, and then you will only have to make a couple of dishes. If you have guests who are staying over, invite them to help you with the cooking.
Start shopping early
Some of the items you will be using for your feast will last if you buy them in advance. Dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, and stuffing can be purchased early and saved until the big day. If you’re using frozen foods, like vegetables, you can also purchase them in advance. The week of Thanksgiving, supermarkets tend to sell out of the most common ingredients, so shopping earlier in the month will give you plenty of time to make sure you have everything.
Cut coupons (or print them)
Coupons are always a great way to save money, but they can be especially helpful for Thanksgiving. Since you will be buying a large amount of food at one time, any way you can save money is beneficial. Check your local newspaper for coupons; also check the food containers in your home for coupons that may be attached to the label or inside the box. There are many coupons available online that you can print out and use. Before you start shopping, call the customer service centers of the supermarkets in your area and find out what their limits on coupons are. If each customer can only use a certain amount of coupons, bring some friends food shopping with you.
Shop at multiple stores
Different stores have different deals, so you need to take advantage of all the supermarkets, big box stores, farmer’s markets, and superstores in your community. Collect the circulars of all your local stores and see what each one has on sale. If stores have similar prices then you only have to choose one, but this is a good way to make sure you don’t miss out on any sales. Farmer’s markets often have better deals on locally grown fruits and vegetables. Big box stores like Costco and BJ’s often have deals on canned beverages, hors d’oeuvres and alcohol.
Use a Thanksgiving Calculator
A Thanksgiving calculator can help you figure out how much food you need to make for a specific amount of guests. Instructables.com has a great thanksgiving calculator which takes into account how many guests you are having, how many are vegetarians, and how many people will be eating the leftovers. This tool is free to download and will help you create a shopping list without wasting money on extra food.
How do you plan on saving money this holiday season?
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