By Crystal Paine, The Money Saving Mom
Planning and preparing a delicious spread of turkey, gravy, and all the fixings doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are seven tips to help you keep more cash in your wallet this Thanksgiving season:
1. Split up the Cooking Responsibilities
Divvy up the Thanksgiving meal responsibilities so no one has to purchase and make all the food themselves. Not only does it make a lot less work, but it can also provide more variety in your menu, too.
2. Use What You Have on Hand
Look in your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer to see what you already have on hand that might make the beginnings of a Thanksgiving dish. Type the ingredients you find into your pantry the ingredient search feature on www.AllRecipes.com, and it will generate a list of recipe ideas for you based upon what ingredients you have.
3. Simplify Your Menu
Do you really need fifteen different dishes on your Thanksgiving buffet? Consider simplifying and just sticking with your very favorites; it’ll save you a lot of time and effort—not to mention money!
4. Plan Your Menu Based on What’s on Sale at the Store
If possible, start looking at the store sales fliers a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Grocery stores typically rotate their best sales each week, so if you can stock up on their rock-bottom deals for a few weeks preceding Thanksgiving, you’ll end up paying a lot less for the groceries you need to make Thanksgiving dinner.
5. Check for Coupons Online Before Shopping
Before you head to the store, check the coupon database on www.MoneySavingMom.com to see if any printable coupons are available for products you’re planning to purchase. For a few minutes of time, you’ll probably be able to save at least a few dollars—if not more!
6. Make Food Ahead of Time
Instead of purchasing expensive food pre-made or pre-packaged in order to save time, cook as much Thanksgiving food ahead of time as you can. A few fantastic make-ahead items are: Sweet Potato Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Butterhorn Rolls, and Slab Apple Pie.
7. Buy Extra Turkeys
Turkey is a great source of inexpensive protein, especially when you can get it at the bargain prices available during Thanksgiving! Take advantage of the turkey sales by buying extra turkeys to stick in the freezer. Then, you can thaw and bake them throughout the year to use in recipes that call for chopped turkey or chicken.
While you’re buying extra turkey for your own freezer, consider buying an extra turkey to give to another needy family or donate to the local homeless shelter. We have so much to be thankful for—let’s pass on the blessing to others, too!
About the Author
Crystal Paine is a wife, mom of three, author of The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget. Visit her blog, MoneySavingMom.com, for high-value coupons, online bargains, freebies, and practical ideas and inspiration to get your life and finances in order.
For more money saving recipe ideas, Thanksgiving craft for kids, and ways to decorate on a budget, visit www.MoneySavingMom.com.