Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner on the Cheap

The average cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner continues to go up. With the turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberries and pie, Virginia’s Farm Bureau now says that Thanksgiving will cost $50.01, this year for a meal that serves 10 people, up almost $3 from last year. But there are ways to save.

Gobble up turkey savings

The most expensive part of any Thanksgiving meal is the turkey. The easiest way to save is to buy a frozen turkey instead of a fresh one. Once thawed, they taste the same. They can be about half the price, though.

Another option for saving on the turkey is to get a store brand one instead of a national brand. The savings here can multiply if you have a coupon or if your grocery store has a bonus card that allows you to collect points.

Shop around

Just because you usually go to one grocery store doesn’t mean you have to get all your things at that store. Comparison shopping can be quite advantageous – especially around the holidays. That is also true at grocery stores. Check the ads in your local paper. A few minutes research could net you significant savings.

Make it yourself

Yes, the pumpkin pie from your local bakery might be easier to pick up than making your own, but you pay dearly for the labor that goes into it. If you’ve got the time, make your own. The same is true for any relish or meat trays you may consider getting at your local deli. It’s easy enough to make your own trays and less than half the price.

Share and share alike

Your neighbor may be hosting dinner, too. They need five pounds of potatoes. You need five pounds of potatoes. But a 10-pound bag is only a few dimes more than a five-pound bag. It may seem awkward, but knock on the door and offer to split. You can split other items, too. Like butter, eggs and flower. After all, you don’t need a whole bag of flower to make one pie. Neither do they.

Delegate food responsibilities

Yes, you offered to host the meal. Yes, you invited the whole family. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some help. Ask family members to bring a dish with them. If your aunt brings her famous green bean casserole, that saves you the cost of making it and also helps her to feel included or needed. It’s a win, win. Have someone else bring deviled eggs. Or an olive tray. Every little bit helps.

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