By: Sammi Coppedge, Marketing Assistant
Each year when November rolls around, families across the country come together to celebrate all of the things they have to be thankful for that year. Even more importantly, these families come together with one goal in mind: to prepare the most epic dinner of the year. Preparing for Thanksgiving can get tricky, depending on how many people are coming, and what types of food your family enjoys, but that doesn’t mean that the cost of your meal has to be epic, too. So, we have compiled a list of our top 5 ways to save money on your Thanksgiving dinner this year!
Create a plan, and stick to it
Our first piece of advice is simple: create a plan, and stick to it. Like we said, Thanksgiving dinner is debatably the biggest meal of the year, so we often get ahead of ourselves making endless dishes. This tip is so much more than just simply creating a grocery list and sticking to it. Start by evaluating what different sides and desserts you are going to make, and make sure it is food that you are actually going to eat. When you are analyzing your different food options, think back to last Thanksgiving and what went untouched. Why bother spending the money, and the time preparing the food, if no one is going to eat it? Figure out what your family is actually going to eat and enjoy this Thanksgiving before you waste the money preparing it.
Make it potluck
Consider hosting a potluck Thanksgiving dinner if your family, or guest attendance, is large enough. The host could still cook the Turkey, but everyone else in attendance could bring sides, drinks, and desserts. Don’t be embarrassed to answer truthfully when someone asks you, “What can I bring?” Not only will this make the host’s life easier, but it will give everyone the opportunity to get involved with Thanksgiving dinner and feel like they helped out with it, too.
Don’t play bartender
Everyone knows drinks tend to get pricy, so don’t open up your entire bar to all of your guests on Thanksgiving. Consider only offering wine and maybe a specialty drink or two from people to choose from. Prepare any cocktails or specialty drinks in advance to make it easier. Another way to make drinks on Thanksgiving even cheaper is to consider serving boxed wine to your guests. Put the boxed wine into a nice decanter and the difference will hardly be noticed.
Stock up on Thanksgiving sales
One great way to prepare for Thanksgiving next year is by purchasing nonperishable Thanksgiving food items the day after and saving them for next year (pantry space permitting). A few examples of these items include canned cranberry sauce, stuffing, or canned corn. You can get these items fairly cheap post-Thanksgiving and it’ll make your life a lot easier when Thanksgiving rolls around again next year.
Get the cheapest Turkey possible
This year, turkeys may be a little bit more expensive, according to the Department of Agriculture. After a massive attack of flu that affect turkeys, there is currently a solution, but don’t let that stop you from searching for the cheapest price this holiday season. At many grocery stores, if you spend a certain amount of money in November, the store will comp you with a free turkey. If you’re hosting a smaller Thanksgiving and won’t be spending enough in the store to get a free turkey, make sure you shop around. Compare prices at the different stores and make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
If you know someone in need this Thanksgiving season in the Muncie area, Muncie Mission and Feed My Sheep are two great organizations who provide Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Visit https://www.munciemission.org/ or http://www.fmsmuncie.org/ for more information.