Tips to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner
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Tips to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 7:00 am
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Use these tips to help make your Thanksgiving dinner more affordable.Without a doubt, Thanksgiving dinner is the biggest meal of the year. It includes tons of food in quantities that will feed a whole lot of relatives. What if your budget is tight? Here are some tips to help you save money on Thanksgiving dinner.

How to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

Make it a Pot Luck
The cost of dinner can be much easier to manage if everyone pitches in. The host should cook the turkey. Ask the rest of your guests to bring a dish to pass. It may work best if you organize a “sign up” so people can let you know what they will bring. Divide it up so there will be enough sides and desserts. This splits the cost of Thanksgiving dinner over several people, and makes it affordable for everyone.

Pull from your Stockpile.
What foods do you already have at home? Check your stockpile, or your pantry. Some people buy and store boxes of dried mashed potatoes, boxes of stuffing, and cans of green beans sometime in October. Do you currently have enough frozen turkey stored in your freezer?

Stocking up is a good strategy if you want to avoid having to do grocery shopping right before Thanksgiving. The rest of the strategy involves remembering what you bought, and have at home, so you don’t waste money on buying duplicates. Check first, then shop if you really need to.

Buy the store brands.
Your stockpile and pantry is empty, and you have to buy everything for Thanksgiving dinner. Compare the price of the box of name brand stuffing to the price of the store brand one. Which is cheaper? The ingredients might be the same. Don’t forget to use your coupons and take advantage of the deals your store loyalty card gives you.

Go to the Buffet.
This might be a good solution for people who will be spending Thanksgiving by themselves, or who have a 2 person family. What will it cost to purchase a turkey, all the sides, and dessert for Thanksgiving dinner? Could you realistically eat all the leftovers before they go bad?

It probably would be more economical to visit a buffet instead. Many will serve turkey, stuffing, and the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner foods on that day. For a small price, you can eat all the Thanksgiving foods that you want. Leftovers won’t be a problem, and you won’t have to do the dishes after dinner.

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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.