Thanksgiving dinner can be a very expensive meal. But you can take steps to reduce the costs this year using a few of these ideas.
One of the easiest and best ideas when trying to save money on Thanksgiving is to make it a potluck. Have all the parties coming to dinner provide a dish. We do this EVERY year and it cuts down on costs considerably. Make a chart listing categories such as main dish, vegetables, starch, dessert, drinks, etc and note who will provide what in each category.
Another idea is to not cook more than everyone will eat. My mother loves to cook many different dishes “just in case” but this “just in case” has often turned into a waste. Do your calculations on serving sizes and don’t over feed your guests.
Shop in advance. Things like butter, canned cranberry sauce, and soup stocks (unless you make your own) tend to go on sale during holiday time. Make sure you get yours before they run out. Pick up these storeable items (butter can be frozen) a week or two in advance. Search brand websites and your newspaper for coupons for even larger savings.
Make it from scratch. No need to go gourmet but making such items as your own breads, pie crusts, and such is cheaper than buying them pre-made. You can even make some in advance.
Make a grocery list before you go shopping. Do what great meal planners do. Make out that menu, with recipes and ingredients for each dish you are making. Check your pantry for what you already have on hand and then take that list with you to the grocery store. You are less likely to overshop and you won’t have that “uh-oh” look on your face come Thanksgiving day when you are making a dish and have forgotten an ingredient.
Think autumn instead of just Thanksgiving when it comes to decor. If you already decorate each year for the holidays you may have what you need on hand and there is no need to acquire new decorations. Some fall foliage from your yard decorating the front door is simple and yet so low cost. Easy and elegant. If there are children who will be coming give them construction paper, glue and scissors and have them make some great decorations for the house. They can do this the day of to keep them busy. Use it as a great learning opportunity.
Have an enjoyable, memorable Thanksgiving that does not break the bank.
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