Thanksgiving Survival Tips: Dinner on a Budget

PhotobucketDo you find yourself in a frenzy every year worrying about making that perfect Thanksgiving dinner? Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, cherish family and friends, and enjoy a big meal. But don’t worry, if you are making Thanksgiving dinner for a large group this year, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Follow these super savvy steps to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.

The Thanksgiving holiday is almost synonymous with food and this can place a rather heavy burden on your budget. That’s why we have come up with ways to make this year’s dinner more budget friendly and still just as tasty!

Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget:

* Make it a potluck. Family and friends typically gather in one location, so consider making it a potluck. Invite everyone to bring a dish of their choice. This cut down on your cost of food and it save you from having to do all the cooking.

* Buy in bulk. It is much easier to find deals when you are buying in bulk. For example, apples and potatoes are much cheaper if you buy them by the bag.

* Practice portion control. When you think of Thanksgiving, the word leftovers automatically jumps in your head, right? Try scaling back on portion sizes this year and leave certain food that typically isn’t eaten much off the menu. Also, if you don’t really need large quantities of food, it may be a good idea to go grocery shopping with friends and/or family members and split the costs at the grocery store checkout.

* Budget and Shop sales. During the holidays you will find lots of your favorite goodies and entries on sale. But before you give into impulse spending, create an organized list of everything you need. Research online to find out all the ingredients and items needed for your dinner, make a list and buy only those items. Keep an eye out for coupons and shop early so you have plenty of options. Waiting to do your shopping a couple days before will limit your choices and force you to spend extra money buying name brands, rather than cheaper store brands. Also, make sure to check out and click on the ‘coupons’ tab at the top. All you have to do is enter your home zip code and it will populate grocery coupons for your local area.

* Opt for a store-brand frozen turkey. As the center piece for most traditional Thanksgiving dinners, consider cutting back by passing on a fresh turkey for a frozen one. Fresh turkeys are more expensive because of their packaging and short shelf life. Make sure to always remember to allow enough time for the turkey to defrost before you cook it.