Thanksgiving tends to be a major stressor for me and my budget.
As someone who doesn’t enjoy cooking, the idea of spending my day in the kitchen is far from appealing.
Add to that the additional costs a traditional meal usually brings with it and it’s all I can do not to throw in the towel and order a pizza.
But so far, this year is lining up to be relatively stress-free.
Mr. GFB has taken the reigns on the cooking front, and by doing a little pre-planning we’ve managed to keep the grocery budget from exploding.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid overspending on save money on Thanksgiving dinner.
1 – Make a Plan and Keep It
First thing’s first, you need to sort out your Thanksgiving menu.
Pull your recipes together and figure out exactly what you’re cooking.
Make your grocery list with those recipes in mind and then stick to it.
Everything looks tasty when you’re at the grocery store, but having a plan and a list will make it easier to avoid the temptations surrounding you.
Also, keep your menu
When I was growing up we had more dishes than you could sample on one plate.
We also had at least 15-20 people showing up to eat it all.
Since we moved, there’s only the three of us now, so it’s not practical or really even possible for me to recreate all our favorites.
If you’re only cooking for a few folks, don’t go overboard with a giant turkey or tons of sides and extra desserts.
Make sure you’re cooking an amount you can actually consume.
2 – Don’t Do It All on Your Own
If you’re entertaining or expecting a crowd, there’s no reason you should be doing all the work.
Make it a potluck and ask your guests to bring something. You can plan your menu together to avoid overlap and excess.
It’s also a great way for everyone to chip in and feel involved.
Plus it gives your guests a chance to share their favorite dishes too.
3 – Cook from Scratch
I’m a big fan of convenience, but it’s usually got a higher price tag associated with it. To save money, avoid pre-packaged items and try to use fresh ingredients to make your dishes from scratch.
It may require a bit more work depending on the recipe, but skipping the frozen sides and pre-made desserts can help you stay on budget.
It’ll probably taste better too.
4 – Compare Local Store Circulars
We all have our favorite stores, but don’t let your loyalty cost you money.
Use Flipp to scan through the flyers of all the stores near you to see which one has the best deals on the items you’re planning to cook.
I probably wouldn’t spread my shopping out across 3 or 4 stores, but it may be worth switching up your routine or making an extra trip if the deals are really good.
Also, check with your stores to see if they offer price matching. You may be able to stick to your routine store and get a great deal if they’ll match a competitor’s lower prices.
5 – Use Coupons and Cash Back Apps
Coupons may not be a new concept for saving money, but once you have your list, check online for printable coupons and check a receipt scanning app like Fetch Rewards for any deals on brands you may not usually buy.
Get rewarded just for snapping pictures of your receipts. No pre-selecting offers, no scanning barcodes, no surveys, no ads – just scan your receipts and earn points!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you can put some of these tips to use and save money on your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Leave a comment and let me know which tip saves you the most money.
Have a super tasty and Happy Thanksgiving!