How to Save Money on Thanksgiving Day Grocery Shopping
If you have ever hosted a Thanksgiving Day dinner for family and friends, then you know how easy it is for costs to quickly get out of control. Turkeys and sides and desserts can add up to a massive grocery bill. Add table décor, appetizers and a few bottles of wine and pretty soon you are spending an entire week’s grocery budget on just one day.
To help you out, here are some easy ways to save money this Thanksgiving:
- Start Buying Now
Plan ahead for Thanksgiving so you can start shopping early for deals, and you can use coupons for groceries way ahead of time. This can help you save significantly! Also, splitting the cost of the meal over a few weeks will be gentler on your overall budget.
- Keep It Simple
I know it can be tempting to make complicated dishes with expensive ingredients to offer your guests the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. But doing this adds money, time, and stress to your Thanksgiving Day. Keep things simple. Make basic dishes that everyone will love. Most of your guests are probably looking forward to the one day of the year when they can enjoy all their favorite dishes they’ve enjoyed their entire lives. The extra time and expense of complicated dishes will be wasted.
- Get an accurate head count.
Thanksgiving dinner is usually followed by days of leftovers. To save money and not push your budget, determine in advance how many guests you expect so you can create a more accurate menu and shopping list. Then, plan ahead and stick to a budget to stay on track.
- Buy in bulk.
If you are hosting a large group, take advantage of bulk deals at grocery stores or make a trip to a warehouse retailer for nonperishable items. Stocks, canned soup and vegetables are usually on sale this time of year and can be used in dishes for months to come.
- Shop around for your turkey.
It’s the headliner of the table for sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and save some money. Try getting a smaller turkey and enhancing the meal with extra side dishes. Or, purchase a store brand turkey, which will usually cost about $2 a pound. Check the local sale papers, many stores will be offering special discounts and deals on turkeys.
- Stop Playing Bartender
You don’t need to offer a full bar to your guests. All you need is some wine or one or two signature drinks. Make signature drinks up in pitchers beforehand so guests can serve themselves throughout the night. You can even serve boxed wine; it’s much less expensive than bottles. Put it into a nice decanter and most people won’t know the difference.
- Make Dinner Potluck
Just because you’re hosting, that doesn’t mean you have to do all the work and incur all the expense. Make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish — a side, dessert, appetizer, etc. Coordinate with everyone to make sure you have all the menu bases covered and no one’s making duplicates.