Having a happy Thanksgiving on a budget

Thanksgiving dinner

Thank you wallet, now dig in. Image: Buxtrosion/Flickr/CC BY

Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Family,  friends, the day off work and the smell of slow-roasting turkey. The food bills and the stress that comes with them — maybe it’s not all so great. But here are some simple tricks you can do to relieve that burden a bit and put the “thanks” back into Thanksgiving.

Plan early

The sooner you start and the more specific your plans are, the more money you can save. Last minute impulse shopping is always more costly because you are at the mercy of the current prices. If you start early and look for sales, you can start assembling the items for your dinner when they are at a bargain.

Cook it; don’t buy it

It’s tempting to save work by getting some items pre-made. But it is almost universally true that it is cheaper to make something than to buy it pre-made, and certainly your guests will appreciate it more. And no pre-made pumpkin pie can compensate for the smell of a baking pie wafting through your home.

Coupons, coupons, coupons

Nearly everything you will want for your Thanksgiving meal will be availabe on sale at one outlet or another as the holiday approaches. This is a big time for grocery retailers, and they will all be trying to entice you into their doors by targeting holiday items. Get store circulars, check out their websites, and clip those coupons. And don’t forget websites with coupons you can print out. Coupons.com is a good place to start, but a simple Internet serach will yield many, many more.

Keep it simple

There is no need to impress your family and friends with gourmet ingredients and expensive treats. Also, this is a holiday about family and home and being thankful, not about extavagance. Nutritious home cooking is just the thing to set the tone for the holiday. And it costs less!

Make it a potluck

Most people have their specialty, something they enjoy making or like a certain way. Coordinate with all your guest, have them each choose something to bring. That way you don’t end up with 12 pumpkin pies and no stuffing. If one of your guests is a confirmed non-culinary type, have her or him pick up a bottle of wine or bring the centerpiece.

Sources

Freshome
Kingdom First
MSNBC

 

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