Do you have a celebration planned for this Thanksgiving? No matter whether you choose to have lunch, dinner, or even a family get-together a few days after Thanksgiving, you can save a bundle. Just by changing a few things, you can find that your budget for this Thanksgiving dinner will shrink.
The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dinner is typically turkey. Not everyone likes turkey and some people get bored. Why not mix it up a bit? While turkey isn’t that expensive, you can choose any number of main courses, from ham to burritos. Think about an ethnic meal – exotic foods for low cost are a staple of ethnic fare.
1. Try flavoring your turkey differently – If you wish to stick to the traditional route, try flavoring your turkey differently this year. Herbs and spices aren’t too expensive and many are already in your own cabinets. Try stuffing rosemary mixed with butter under the turkey’s skin. The butter and herb mixture will soak into the meat and marinate it as it roasts. This can be done with any herbs that go well with poultry.Compound butters are easy to make by mixing any combination of herbs and spices in softened butter, then allowing it to cool.
2. Prepare a turkey that is in the right size – The trick to saving money on turkey is to buy one that is the right size for your gathering. There’s no point in buying a 20 pound turkey for a family of two or three. Small gatherings need smaller turkeys, while a large family gathering with big eaters will need a larger bird. Allow your guests to fill up on side dishes!
3. Frugal but healthy – Speaking of side dishes, unless you are throwing a huge get-together, you will not need tons of sides. Think about having a main course and three to four side dishes. Vegetables are the mainstay of side dishes, be sure to have enough vegetables to satisfy your guests. Green beans, potatoes, and squash dishes are traditional Thanksgiving sides. All of these vegetables are low cost and filling. Not to mention, healthy!
4. Think of making your own breads and desserts – While the pre-packed versions can be tasty, making your own from scratch is easy and often much better tasting than those you buy in boxes. You can make several desserts for the price of one pre-packaged. Fresh fruits and other fresh ingredients will delight your guests who are probably more familiar with the boxed or frozen versions of their favorite desserts.
5. Try to save more on ingredients – While shopping, look for the lowest price on all ingredients needed to create delightful Thanksgiving dinner 2013. Ignore pre-made deli items and you’ll find that the cost of this Thanksgiving is much lower than last year’s. Make sure to have a list of everything you will need before you enter the store and above all else – don’t shop hungry! Studies show that the biggest grocery shopping blunder is shopping while hungry. You’ll want to buy too many snacks. Keep a granola bar with you or eat a full meal before beginning your trip.