Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a nerve-wracking experience, but the holiday is supposed to be a time to sit down and enjoy time with loved ones over dinner and give thanks. If you’re the one buying and cooking the turkey dinner this year, all that food adds up fast, but these tips can help you save on groceries so you can focus on the good times ahead.
- Plan far in advance - Take at least a week to plan your menu, then talk to guests to see what they’re bringing so you can figure out exactly what you’ll need to add to your shopping list.
- Check out the sales and compare prices - Do your research before you hit the grocery store by checking prices on supermarkets’ websites or sale flyers and getting any coupons you can use.
- Be flexible with your list - If something you were planning to make is breaking your budget, don’t be afraid to make some on-the-fly changes to the menu to make it work.
- Check off list items as you buy them - When your cart is full and so is the supermarket, you don’t want to be digging to the bottom of it to see if you already grabbed sage and you definitely don’t want to purchase anything twice, so check it off your list when you add something to the cart.
- Stick to a budget - It’s easy to go overboard, but a budget can help prevent that.
- Don’t buy a whole extra turkey - They suggest you get about one and a half to two pounds of turkey per guest, but you don’t need to get two turkeys to make sure you have enough. You can buy an extra turkey breast to guarantee you have enough food and save money too.
- Don't buy prepared items - It’s true for Thanksgiving shopping just like the rest of the year, making something from scratch is less expensive than buying it pre-made.
- Load up on the cheap stuff - Mashed potatoes are cheap and easy, so are rolls and stuffing, so have plenty of those around to fill up guests.
- Buy less than you think you’ll need - Have you ever been to a Thanksgiving celebration where they ran out of food? It doesn’t happen often, so you probably don’t really need that second batch of cornbread or sweet potato casserole.
- Cheap wine is fine - There’s no reason to spend more than $10 a bottle and most boxed wines are decent these days, so don’t be scared to save there. If anyone needs to drink something fancy, they can bring their own.
- Go generic - You can save with buying store brands and your guests won’t be able to tell the difference.
Source: The Daily Meal