There’s a lot to remember when hosting your Thanksgiving dinner. From all of the side dishes to pumpkin pie to a big turkey, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner can quickly get out of hand. That’s not what this season is all about and it’s certainly not what you need or want to focus on while spending time with your family. That’s why we’ve come up with four quick tips to break out the feast without breaking the bank.
1. Shop Early
It’s happened to the best of us, you start to make your famous pumpkin pie and then realize you forgot to grab a can of pumpkin pie mix at the store. You run to the store and see that it is almost twice as much as it was a couple weeks ago. Stores have sales on staple Thanksgiving ingredients a few weeks in advance so get what you can as early as possible. Don’t be afraid to drive to multiple stores to get the best deals and scout online and paper flyers of local stores to compare the prices before you go. Be sure to make a list and stick to it. Coming from a team of marketers, we know how easy it is to get distracted by all of the colorful packaging (that’s the goal!) but that leads to items you don’t need and spending money unnecessarily.
2. Potluck Fun
Isn’t this what Thanksgiving is all about? Coming together and sharing? Help lighten the load on yourself by inviting everyone to bring a dish to share. If everyone contributes to the Thanksgiving dinner, it will help you spend time with the family instead of spending the whole day cooking and baking in the kitchen. This also helps with the stress of those family members with food intolerances or allergies because they can bring a dish that’s safe for them. Everyone gets to show off their cooking skills and you get to save money.
3. Turkey Time
How do you know how big of a bird to buy? Think about how many people you are serving? How many adults and how many children? The rule of thumb is one pound of turkey for every person at the table or one and a half pounds if you want leftovers. Remember, bigger isn’t always better. Think about buying a couple smaller turkeys instead of a mammoth size one. The bigger the turkey may seem easier, but it leads to longer cook times, uneven cooking and makes it all around harder to handle. You can cook two smaller turkeys side by side which cuts down on cooking time and is much easier to serve. It’s also cheaper than buying a large one.
4. Rethink Pinterest
Those baked apples filled with stuffing may look pretty, but are they necessary? We can all agree Pinterest is amazing and addictive, but use it as inspiration and not a scale of success. Stick with the basics: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce etc. Unless your family size is comparable to a small city, twenty different appetizers and side dishes is overkill. How are your guests going to fit that all on one plate? Take advantage of the affordability of the traditional Thanksgiving basics and save some time and money.
Thanksgiving is all about coming together with the people that we care most about and sharing why we are thankful. Following our money saving tips will lead to a Thanksgiving focused more on enjoying your family and less on the worry of preparing your meal. Check out our Pinterest page for some easy budget friendly recipes and decorating tips. And since the season has officially started, Happy Holidays from all of us here at Marine Bank.