Tips for saving on Thanksgiving meals
Make your list now – start buying what you need when it’s on sale and there is a coupon available. If you typically make the sweet potato casserole for your family get togethers, you should have these ingredients in your pantry so you aren’t paying full price the week of Thanksgiving. This also eliminates the risk of the store being out of an item you need. If you’re hosting, tell your guests what you are making and ask them to bring a dish. This saves on any one person bearing the entire financial burden of the meal.
Be the first to pick an item to bring to a potluck or family gathering. This way you can utilize what you already have in your pantry or what you can get on sale. If you are the last one to decide, you might be asked to bring a vegetable dish using vegetables that are not in season thus being full price.
Keep an eye out for store reward programs where you benefit from buying certain items and getting others for free. Some stores offer a free turkey if you purchase a certain dollar amount within their promotional period. Some stores offer a complete Thanksgiving meal for less than what it would cost you to buy all the ingredients separately. It might not be quite as good as homemade but worth your time in the end, if you in the middle of moving or traveling for the holidays.
Take advantage of local farmer’s markets. Many of these offer cheaper prices than grocery stores and often better quality produce. If you are buying a large quantity, don’t be afraid to ask the merchant for a deal. Since they are independently run they have the flexibility to negotiate pricing and generally want to work with you for your business.
Don’t cook too much food. If you are only cooking for your immediate family, consider cooking a large turkey breast instead of a full turkey. Bigger turkey’s are typically cheaper by the pound. Buy a bigger turkey and ask your store butcher to cut it in half for you. Most will do this, even if it’s frozen. You can cook half for Thanksgiving and save the rest for a later date or even Christmas. This makes it easier to store as well.
Skip the traditional Thanksgiving. Have non traditional foods like pot roast or banana cream pie. Opt for a feast on a day other than Thanksgiving. You can save on some foods with after holiday sales. If you really want to save on Thanksgiving dinner and help out your community. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen. You will be lending a helping hand and most places will give you a free meal just for volunteering your time.