How "Semi-Homemade" Cooking Saves
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How “Semi-Homemade” Cooking Saves Money

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 11:42 am
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Save time and money on your Thanksgiving feast this year with semi-homemade cooking! Semi-homemade cooking is a great way to save big on your Thanksgiving feast this year.

What Is “Semi-Homemade” Cooking?

You might be wondering, what is “semi-homemade cooking?” Semi-homemade cooking (as seen on the Food Network) is a nice alternative to cooking from scratch. It uses pre-packaged ingredients along with other added ingredients to create a semi-homemade dish. That is, a dish that is somewhere between homemade and out-of-a-box cooking. The best thing about semi-homemade cooking is that is can save both time and money!

How “Semi-Homemade” Cooking Saves

The reason semi-homemade cooking recipes come with such deep savings is because you can often find a lot more valuable coupons for pre-made ingredients, such as boxed stuffing or mashed potatoes. You can then add whatever ingredients you want. For example, I will use a coupon for boxed stuffing (you can usually get it for almost free with sales and coupons). Then I’ll add a few cheap ingredients of my own, such as celery or apple chunks.

“Semi-Homemade” Inspiration

The possibilities for semi-homemade cooking are endless. Here’s a few ideas to help you plan a semi-homemade Thanksgiving meal!

  • Semi-homemade stuffing: start by using the cheapest boxed stuffing you can get your hands on. Then, add whatever ingredients you like to give it a home-made touch! You might consider adding cranberries, apples, celery, turkey, carrots, or various spices.
  • Semi-homemade cranberry sauce: Pick up some chunky canned cranberry sauce when you see a sale or coupons. You can then add your own touch with some fresh orange zest!
  • Semi-homemade mashed potatoes: Start with your favorite boxed mashed potatoes and then add your favorite ingredients. I like to add a few mashed mini golden Yukon potatoes and dill. You can also add some mini redskin potatoes for color (and a home-made appearance!).
  • Semi-homemade gravy: Who said you couldn’t add some personal zest to pre-made gravy? Get creative! You can use powdered or pre-made gravy as a starting point and add your own spices, turkey, etc.
  • Semi-homemade bread pudding: Bread pudding is a great alternative (or addition) to pumpkin pie for a Thanksgiving dessert. Check out this semi-homemade bread pudding recipe using packets of instant oatmeal!


You can find 100 more semi-homemade recipes here. Good luck with you semi-homemade Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to take advantage of all those wonderful sales and savings!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.