1) Make a List. Over-shopping is the easiest way to break your budget, so make a list and stick to it to keep money in your pocket.
2) Seek Out Coupons. You’ll find more coupons than normal in the Sunday paper and online that can be used on the holiday dinner. Alone these can cut costs significantly, but pair sales with coupons to save major dollars.
3) Buy a Frozen Turkey. Believe it or not, you can save 30-40% by choosing a frozen turkey over a fresh turkey. Just be sure to give yourself 4-5 days for the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator.
4) Know How Much You Need… Take a headcount and visit AllRecipes.com to calculate a recipe based on the number of people you expect around the table.
5) …Then Make Less Than You Need. There are so many must-have side dishes – mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole – that guests won’t be taking their usual helpings. Make less of each dish and you should still have plenty of food.
6) Save on Side Dishes. It’s easy to modify traditional favorites to save money. For green bean casserole, mix frozen green beans with frozen corn. Once cooked, top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. You can also see big savings by opting for brown-and-serve rolls over crescent rolls.
7) Cut Costs with Dinner Drinks. If you plan to serve wine with dinner, consider boxed wine that can cost about half as much as bottled wine. Ditch the box, serve in a nice carafe and no one will ever know.
8) Make Your Own Pies. Pumpkin pie is cheaper to make than to buy (and it’s so easy to make!). Plus, frozen pie crusts can be found on sale.
9) Look for “Loss Leader” Items. Grocery stores are advertising more holiday-related “loss leaders,” or deeply discounted items, on the front pages of their ads. Look out for major savings on stuffing, rolls, potatoes and pie crusts.
10) Know Price Matching Policies. Save yourself a trip to multiple stores if you can buy all that you need at a store that will match the advertised prices at other grocery retailers.
Do you have any great tips to save money on Thanksgiving dinner? Let me know!