A traditional Thanksgiving meal can cost upwards of $100 dollars which can be demanding on some families with the holidays so near. These money saving tips will ensure that you have a fully flavored budget friendly meal.
1. Buy in bulk: Fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat are often cheaper by the pound when purchased in bulk. While you may have to fork up the extra cash in the short term, you can freeze the leftover ingredients to use in meals after Thanksgiving is over and done with. That being said, try to stick with produce that is local and in season. Your food will taste better and your wallet will be happy.
2. Look for the free turkey: Grocery stores expect people to spend more money on food during the holidays and offer shoppers a free turkey with a minimum purchase. With birds averaging $2.50 a pound, you can easily subtract $20 from your grocery bill.
3. Make one shopping trip: Try your best to make one shopping list and stick to what is on it. When we take multiple shopping trips, we are often tempted to purchase more than necessary.
4. Keep the bar simple: While a fully stocked bar is nice, it is not necessary. Offer guests a signature drink and an opposing spirit. For example, if your signature cocktail contains vodka, serve bourbon as a second option. The same goes for non-alcoholic beverages as well.
5. Thanksgiving can be a potluck: Since Thanksgiving is a family affair, most other members are more than happy to lend a hand and contribute to the meal. Potlucks are a great way for people to showcase their favorite Thanksgiving dishes without placing the financial burden on a single family.
6. Use your culinary judgment: Some Thanksgiving recipes can be very demanding on your wallet with an assortment of cheese, herbs, spices and the like. Use your culinary judgment to cut out non-essentials. Perhaps use one fresh herb instead of all four that is called for in the recipe. Also, try to use specialty ingredients in more than one dish. Pecans can be included in both the pie and the salad.
7. Go natural and go cheap: Skip the trip to the craft's store and purchase your holiday decorations from the dollar store instead. There are plenty of fun and festive decorations to give your house a face lift for the holiday. Also, do not discount natural accents such as squashes and gourds, pinecones, leaves, sticks and more (just make sure they are free from little critters) which also add a nice touch.