Want to keep your costs under control this Thanksgiving? Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be able to do just that. Thanksgiving is all about getting together with friends and family, but it can come with a cost.
How much of a cost? According to a Farm Bureau survey, the average price to serve 10 people at a 2018 Thanksgiving get-together was $48.90.
If that number sounds low, it’s probably because you’re used to splurging on extras beyond food, such as decorations and the like that can make your Turkey Day budget spiral out of control.
To keep that from happening this year, let’s take a look at some tips that should lead to Thanksgiving savings. By following them, you’ll have more cash to spend on the holidays or to pay your bills.
1. So you didn’t plan early.
It may be too late to plan early for Thanksgiving this year, but this tip is still worth mentioning so you can use it to save in the years to come.
You should start planning for Thanksgiving several weeks before it comes. This includes making a budget that doesn’t infringe on your necessary monthly expenses.
By having a budget, you’ll know exactly what you can spend. You can then divide it amongst departments and make a precise shopping list to avoid costly impulse purchases.
Besides offering clarity via a budget, planning early can also lead to savings via discounts. You can find Thanksgiving deals sometimes three weeks before the holiday that will beat last-minute prices that come with procrastination.
2. Stick to the basics with your menu.
Depending on the size of your get-together, you could face a ton of special requests. You may have an aunt who’s the only one who likes pecan pie and a sister who insists on ham while everyone loves turkey.
Instead of catering to each request, get the basics. If someone can’t eat certain foods, you can ask them in advance to bring something they’ll enjoy.
You’ll kill two birds with one stone in the process, as you can save money by not buying unnecessary foods and save time cooking them.
3. Don’t spend a ton on turkey.
Chances are, turkey will be the main dish at your table. While it will be one of your main food costs, shopping wisely can minimize that expense.
Look for local supermarkets offering free turkeys. They’ll sometimes offer this promotion if you spend a certain amount in the store.
If you’re a loyal customer who’s racked up a ton of loyalty points in a store, you may be eligible for a free turkey too. Call the stores directly or visit them in person to see what they offer in this regard. You’ll be surprised at the turkey-related steals that exist.
If forking over cash for your turkey is the only option, opt for frozen instead of fresh. They’re often less expensive. Just make sure you have enough time to thaw them properly.
When buying the turkey, don’t overdo it in terms of size. Sure, purchasing the biggest of the bunch may put a smile on your face, but it’s probably not needed.
How do you pick the perfect size? If you don’t want a lot of leftovers, aim for one pound of turkey per person. If you want leftovers, increase that number to 1.5 pounds per person.
Should you need a bit more meat than a turkey can provide, buy some legs or breasts separately. This will save you from having to buy an extra turkey.
Are only a few people coming over? A turkey may exceed your dining needs. Roast a chicken or cook up some Cornish hens, and you’ll still have an enjoyable meal at a lower cost.