Thanksgiving dinner on a budget

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Thanksgiving dinner on a budget - The Hot Mess Press

Who doesn’t love sitting down to a homemade feast with friends and family? Thanksgiving brings to mind roast turkey, tons of side dishes, and pumpkin pie. Preparing a meal of this size can be fun if you enjoy being in the kitchen. It’s also a lot of work. Plus, cooking holiday meals can mean a huge increase in your grocery costs. Many people are cooking Thanksgiving dinner at home this year rather than traveling to see family. Being responsible for a holiday meal, when everyone has certain expectations on how it should go, can be a little intimidating. Buying the ingredients that you need for Thanksgiving can also cost a lot. But there are ways to save money if you plan ahead.

Shop sales

November and December are 2 of the best months to find deals on popular holiday foods. Especially when it comes to whole turkeys. A lot of the grocery store chains put whole turkeys on sale in the 2-3 weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to get your bird for less than 50 cents per pound. Cranberries, canned pumpkin, flour, sugar, butter, and other commonly used ingredients are also really cheap this time of year. Keep a list of what you want to make, along with the ingredients you need, so you can check sales and get your food for the best price possible. You may have to run around to more than one store, but doing so can save a lot when you’re buying so much food at once.

Keep it simple

When it comes to holiday meals, they can be as complicated or as simple as you want them. The more complex your meal is, the more ingredients you’ll need to buy. When you’re making Thanksgiving dinner on a budget, keep it simple. Make a list of everyone’s favorite sides, stick to one main dish, and make 1-2 desserts. Mashed potatoes are a favorite and a must-have for many at Thanksgiving. Plus, they’re super cheap and easy to make. Homemade stuffing is also very affordable and much better than the stuff from a box or bag. Root vegetables and winter squash are in season this time of year, which means they are affordable. Roast carrots, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes for a cheap side to accompany your turkey. When it comes to desserts, apples and pumpkins are in season and affordable for pie-making. If you’re intimidated by baking, cobblers are easy and virtually impossible to mess up.

Thanksgiving dinner can be costly, especially if you overcomplicate things. But there are ways to have a tasty meal that meets everyone’s expectations without breaking the budget. Whole turkeys are expensive at any other time of year, but in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, you can get them for very cheap if you shop around. When it comes to side dishes, don’t overdo it. Buy produce that’s in season and stick to your family’s favorite sides and desserts. Shop the sales and plan ahead to ensure you have everything you need without breaking your budget.

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