7 Tips for a Frugal (But Still Delicious) Thanksgiving Feast

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Money Saving Tips for a Delicious Thanksgiving

Money Saving Tips for a Delicious Thanksgiving

When surrounded by the tempting smells of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and other holiday treats, who wants to count calories? Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to forget that diet and just enjoy a nice meal. Of course, we can’t always treat our budgets with the same spirited disregard. Luckily, there are many easy ways to enjoy a delicious feast while keeping your wallet from starving.

Buy only what you’re going to eat. If you’re cooking for a larger group, be aware of how much you are making. Do you really need four different pies for eight people? That’s half a pie per person, so probably not! Same goes for those appetizers and side dishes. And if you’re making a dinner for a very small group, consider buying a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey. You can also find single servings of traditional items at your local grocery store.

Make it a potluck. Instead of taking the entire expense on yourself, ask everyone to contribute something. You can cook the dishes that are most meaningful to you, and then assign out the rest, such as salad, rolls, desserts or side dishes. If you really want to cook the entire meal, you can still save quite a bit of money by requesting that your guests bring wine, beer, and sodas.

Borrow dinnerware. Instead of investing in more baking pans, serving dishes and silverware just to use them once a year, ask your guests if you can borrow these items in advance. Make a list of what you have and what you need. Don’t have a blender or a food processor? You can ask for these items as well. Just plan it all out in advance, so you don’t find yourself without the tools you need on the big day.

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Buy a frozen bird. Since they have a longer shelf life, they’re less expensive. But be aware that they require more preparation time since the bird needs to be defrosted days ahead of time. So plan ahead! Another way to save money on your turkey is to be on the look-out for promotions. This time of year, grocery stores are busy competing for your holiday business, so they offer some killer deals. Shop around.

Save energy. Make use of your oven space by cooking multiple items at a time when appropriate. For example, if you are cooking multiple pies, throw them all in at the same time. Generally, recipe temperatures can be adjusted about 25 degrees either way without much effect, so find a nice middle ground and just keep an eye on what you’re cooking.

Stock up for upcoming holidays. If you see deals on canned items that you’ll need for your big Christmas or Hanukkah meal, throw them in the cart now! If you’re planning to cook a turkey then too, make room in your freezer and purchase it now when the prices are lowest.

Make good use of your leftovers. Even with these savings techniques, a good Thanksgiving feast is likely to cost more than a regular meal, but if you stretch it out over several days, you’ll get more bang for your buck! With those leftover rolls, you can make a delicious sandwich of turkey, stuffing and cranberry relish. You can also use that leftover turkey to make soup that you can freeze to savor throughout the month. These are just two of thousands of ideas for using Thanksgiving leftovers, so check out this great list of leftover recipes on AllRecipes.com or ask friends and family to share their tricks!

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