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Thanksgiving Dinner: Save Money With These 12 Tips

November 20th, 2014 Posted in Lifestyle

We know Thanksgiving’s a special holiday, and that it (unfortunately) only comes once a year. We, as food editors, thoroughly get its importance.

It’s a holiday worth making a fuss about, which is why many of us happily spend weeks planning the menu and get up before the sun to prepare this one meal. But, it’s also important to remember that it is just one meal; and it’s not worth going broke over.

You can prepare a great budget Thanksgiving — and we’ve got some solid ideas for how you can minimize waste, save money and enjoy the feast.

Our $300 sams club run.

Buy In Bulk

If you’re going to be feeding a large crowd, it’s worth making a trip to a warehouse retailer — at least for the non-perishable items like canned foods and paper products.

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Generic Brands

When cooking Thanksgiving, there’s a lot at stake. The last thing you want to do is mess up Thanksgiving dinner. But that’s no reason to opt for expensive brand name ingredients when generic will do just fine. Trust us, the savings will add up.

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Turkey

The turkey is easily the most expensive part of this meal. Even though we do prefer the taste of a fresh bird, if you’re trying to keep things within a budget opting for a frozen bird is a good idea.

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Skip Appetizers

Your guests are not going to starve if you skip the appetizers. And Sam Sifton would definitely approve of this decision. The cost of appetizers is just not necessary on this day of excess.

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Minimize Side Dishes

While it pains us greatly to say this, skipping one or two of the traditional side dishes will save you some money. Please note: we will not be help accountable for the reaction this decision will elicit from your guests. This is a daring move and you will probably experience some protest.

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Make A Turkey Broth

Making a broth with your turkey carcass might not save you money the day of Thanksgiving, but it certainly will feed you for many weeks to come. And that’s an important savings to keep in mind.

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Use Natural Decorations

Sure, those pilgrim salt and pepper shakers are cute, but you just don’t need them. And they quickly rack up the already mounting Thanksgiving bill. Use natural decorations like fall leaves or winter squash to decorate your table.

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Make It From Scratch

We know that there’s a lot to do on Thanksgiving day and that cutting corners seems appealing, but just remember that you always pay for convenience. Sure you could buy a jar of gravy, but making it at home costs pennies (and tastes way better too).

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Keep It Simple

There are so many great Thanksgiving recipes out there to try that showcase great ingredients, but keeping it simple is a great way to save money. So rather than making the truffled mashed potatoes you’ve been dying to try, stick with that plain buttered ones — they’re just as good.

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Snag A Free Turkey

Some grocery stores do free turkey promotions (usually based on spending a certain amount at the store during a given time period). Pay attention to see if you’re store is participating, and if you’re eligible. A free bird is a good way to save money!

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Avoid Overcooking

We know that the best part about Thanksgiving are all the leftovers, but if you want to pinch pennies you should try to cook only how much you need for the meal. A meal calculator can help you figure the exact proportions based on your number of guests.

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Potluck

Even if not everyone likes to cook, most people like to contribute. Your guests will not fault you for asking them to bring a dish or beverage, especially since you are already doing so much. And when everyone contributes something, that’s a lot less you have to worry about buying.

Source: huffingtonpost.com

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