The holiday season is kicking off with Thanksgiving, which means that there will be a lot of upcoming celebrations in the near future. But don’t get stuffed paying high prices on hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, by preparing in advance and following some of these tips, you can host a beautiful, tasty, memorable evening with friends and family without stressing about the associated costs.
Let’s get into the cost-cutting tips for your Turkey Day celebrations.
Depending on your unique situation, some of these tips may be useful, and others may be skippable.
But we’ve compiled some suggestions for how to keep the price as low as possible when you’re hosting this seasonal and savory meal.
Create a Menu and Shopping List
First things first, it’s essential to plan your menu. A menu will, of course, dictate your shopping list. Also, when you write down your menu, you can double-check your shopping list, so you don’t have to rush back to the store in a panic while you’re busy in the kitchen. To keep the costs down, try to stick to essential dishes. This is because you can repurpose many ingredients and use them after the holiday if your dishes aren’t too unusual. If some ingredients are only used once, check to see if you already have something you can use as a substitute.
Check Your Pantry
Before you head to the store, go through your fridge, freezer, and pantry to ensure you don’t already have some of the ingredients you need. There are a lot of spices and seasonings you will likely already have lying around.
Price Match and Use Coupons
Some grocery stores are willing to perform price matching. So, spend some time going through mailers and clippings to see what’s being advertised in your area. If you can find a store that honors price matching, conduct research in advance and bring proof of lower prices elsewhere. That way, you can be sure to get the best deal. At the same time, keep your eyes peeled for coupons and promotions around Thanksgiving. Some stores may even offer a free turkey when you spend a certain amount of money within a certain time.
Preserve Fresh Herbs
If you’re buying any fresh herbs to cook with, treat them like you would a bouquet of flowers. That means you can buy them a few days before Thanksgiving. But be sure to clip the ends off and store them in water, as herbs are living organisms. Herbs that need to be treated this way are “soft herbs,” like parsley, cilantro, dill, basil, mint, mint, and tarragon. For “hard herbs,” like rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, and chives, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in the fridge in an airtight container. The paper towel helps them retain moisture for freshness, and the container keeps out oxygen.
Shop for Turkey Wisely
As we mentioned before, there is a chance that some stores will offer free turkey to those who spend a certain amount of money. If you don’t plan to spend that amount on Thanksgiving dinner alone, try to reach the minimum by buying items in bulk that can be preserved and that you know you will need over time. Or, consider asking a friend or some family to shop with you, and then you can share the turkey on the big day. Additionally, frozen turkeys tend to be less expensive than fresh turkeys. Remember that a frozen turkey needs to defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of meat. Or, if you’re okay with being a little less traditional on Thanksgiving day, forego the turkey and cook a plant-based meal or choose a less pricey animal protein.
Buy Generic Products
Generic brands versus brand names are usually less expensive. For example, Consumer Reports noted that generic products are an average of 25% cheaper than items with a brand name. You’ll notice a difference in price for generic store names over brand names: frozen vegetables, canned foods, and milk, for example.
Shop for Wholesale Beverages
Your grocery tab can quickly add up, especially when you include alcohol and beverages in your shopping cart. Instead of shopping for alcohol at the grocery store, consider peeping into a wholesale liquor store to take advantage of sales they may be running. If you drink wine, think boxed wine versus bottled wine. While boxed wine sometimes does get a bad reputation, you can air it out in a decanter ahead of time.
Try Out Potluck Style
Celebrating potluck style is a great way to drive down your Thanksgiving costs. This means that everyone who attends your meal is expected to contribute by bringing or cooking a dish of their own. If you do plan to host potluck style, be sure that you give your guests an adequate amount of time to prepare. It also helps to create a shared document like a Google Spreadsheet with your guest list and allow each person to mark down what they plan to bring. This way, you won’t have different people showing up with the same thing. Finally, communicate any dietary restrictions if you let guests get their own dish.
Be Grateful for Friends, Family, and Savings
Whatever you choose to call the day of Thanksgiving, it’s about spending time with the people you love and expressing gratitude for everything you have. Even if times are financially constrained, hosting a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for an affordable price is possible by planning, shopping early, looking out for deals, and employing some of the above recommendations.
For this holiday season and every special occasion thereafter, our team at Cash Factory USA wishes you and your loved ones a healthy and joyous day!
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