Seasonal & Holiday

Easy Ways to Save on Your Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving won’t break the bank like Christmas, but a large, hearty meal for friends and relatives can still put a dent in your wallet. If you plan to host this year’s holiday dinner you might be surprised by how much all of those ingredients cost. Before buying groceries consider all of the money saving options available. Here are a few ideas guaranteed to help.

Stock Up

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November is the best time of year to stock up on items in the bakery aisle. You can find a plethora of coupons and sales for sugar, chocolate chips, nuts, butter, flour and other baking related ingredients. If you have a number of grocery stores nearby, compare prices and plan a few extra trips to the market this month to stock up.

Free Turkey Deals

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Does your grocery store provide the opportunity to earn a free turkey? In order to obtain this deal most stores require you to spend a specific amount of money over a designated period of time. Each store sets its own requirements, but most typically require you to spend somewhere between $250 and $400. If you plan to spend that much on groceries then definitely take advantage of this deal.

Search Your Pantry & Buy in Bulk

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Plan your menu, list out your ingredients and then go shopping in your pantry. You might be surprised by the number of ingredients you already have on hand. If you plan to host a large party consider purchasing ingredients from warehouse stores or look in the bulk section of your local grocery store. Stocks, frozen vegetables, nuts, cheese and meat are often cheaper in bulk. Groupon is currently offering a one year membership to BJ’s for only $40. If you’ve never tried a warehouse membership before, why not give it a try? You will receive a 47% discount off the regular price and earn a $25 gift card to boot!

Consider a Potluck Approach

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Friends and family members always offer to bring something to dinner. Write a list of the types of food you want to serve including appetizers, side dishes, drinks and dessert. When someone asks how they can help ask if they’d be willing to bring a dish. You can even provide a list of recipes to family members and simply let them pick which one they’d like to make. If your friends aren’t comfortable in the kitchen ask them to bring a bottle of wine or the ingredients for cocktails. Just make certain everyone is in the loop on this so you don’t receive five bowls of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving night.

Create a Simple Meal with Seasonal Ingredients

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Some dishes call for more expensive ingredients than others. Rather than making a dish that requires cognac and expensive red wine, consider finding an alternative recipe that requires cheaper ingredients. The Internet is flush with Thanksgiving recipes. Search for highly rated, home-cooked recipes that will cost less to cook or bake. Also stick with seasonal ingredients like pears, apples, squash and potatoes, which are cheaper this time of year.