Food

5 Smart Ways to Save on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be our favorite time of the year! With friends, family and loved ones all gathered around one table full of delicious food, it’s hard not to adore the holiday.

But cooking a large feast comes with its fair share of expenses. Food, decorations, and supplies add up quickly to be quite a hefty bill. To help cut down on some of the costs, we put our heads together to compile five budget-friendly tips to follow when entertaining for Thanksgiving, starting with the guest list.

1. Get an accurate head count.

Overbuying is one of the main money-stealing culprits during the holidays. Before making a trip to the grocery store, be sure to get an accurate head count of who will be joining you for dinner. Once you have a rough number, revisit your recipes and adjust the measurements of each ingredient for the right proportions.

2. Buy in bulk.

If you’re planning on using a large amount of one ingredient, try buying it in bulk. Supermarkets offer amazing discounts on things like wine and vegetables. Look at your ingredients and see what pops up in more than one dish. For example, if you’re looking to make stuffing, grab a value sized bag of celery for the stuffing and stuffed celery. It will help you cut down on costs significantly.

3. Buy early for the best deals.

If you know early on that you will be hosting this year, head to the grocery store at your earliest convenience. The cheaper brands tend to go fast, so timeliness is key on ingredients like pumpkin and stuffing. Also, if you’re looking for a specific size bird, make sure you’re not waiting until the last minute to make the purchase. Warning: they go fast!

4. Buy whole fruits and vegetables, and cut them yourself.

Although buying pre-cut produce can be a huge time saver, it tends to put a large dent in your wallet. Buy whole fruits and vegetables and slice as needed. You’re hand maybe tired at the end of the day, but your checking account will be thanking you.

5. Stick to your grocery list.

It’s easy to get carried away when you step into the supermarket. With holiday music playing in the background and displays beautifully decorated, its hard to resist buying that turkey-shaped cake… To avoid the unnecessary purchases, come prepared with a thorough checklist and a full stomach.

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Rachael Ray