If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal, you know it can put a huge dent in your bank account and keep you busy running around to prepare for it. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track when planning your Thanksgiving meal.
Plan the menu and create a list. You should always have your meal planned out and your list written in advance to help you get through the grocery store quickly – and on budget!
Use coupons. These little pieces of paper can save you big money on Thanksgiving dinner. CouponCabin.com has grocery coupons for everything from frozen vegetables and baking items to drinks and dinner rolls – and everything in between. Taking just a few minutes to check the site and print coupons can make a big difference in your grocery bill.
Watch for sales. Combine sale prices with coupons for maximum savings. You can often score items at just a fraction of the price with this method.
Save on the bird. Many stores offer special savings (or in some cases, free turkeys) when you buy a certain item or a certain amount of items. Keep an eye out for these special promotions at your local grocery store.
Make your own side dishes and desserts. Homemade recipes taste better and cost less than pre-made dishes. Skip the pre-packaged cookies and make a few batches from scratch. Plus, many sides and desserts can be made in advance to help save time on the big day.
Share the work. Just because you are the host doesn’t mean that you have to personally prepare every dish. Make the main dish and a few sides or desserts but take your guests up on their offers to bring something. This way, you’re cutting back on the cost and time spent on the meal. Plus, dishes and any leftovers go home with your guests, which means you have to do less dishes! As much as we love leftovers, we never finish them all and they always seem to stay in the fridge longer than they should. Avoid this altogether by having your guests pitch in with the menu.
Skip the bells and whistles. Thanksgiving is about spending time with your loved ones. Odds are, no one will notice your elaborate fall centerpieces or fancy party supplies so just focus on the food. Better yet, enlist your children to make the decorations. Construction paper, markers and some glue sticks are a quick and inexpensive way to keep the kids busy and get the house looking festive.
Post contributed by Brianne Miller of Just Trying to Save Money.