4 Ways to Save on Your Thanksgiving Feast

The countdown to Thanksgiving has begun. We all look forward to preparing a great meal for friends and family, but the costs (in both time and money) – can sometimes be hard to digest.

If you are hosting this year’s feast, here are few ways to keep the financial and emotional stress to a minimum.

Make a plan: Decide on your menu early. List all the ingredients you need and start looking for deals. When it comes to food shopping, the earlier the better. Many stores have already started their holiday season specials, so keep an eye out for coupons and discounts. Break up the Turkey Day shopping list and pick up a few items during your regular supermarket runs. Speaking of turkey, it’s time to get your pre-orders in. Spare yourself the stress of hunting down a turkey at the last minute by reserving a frozen turkey now. If you’re feeding a crowd, don’t limit yourself to just your local grocery store. Membership warehouses like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s are great places to find deals on bulk wine, beer and other drinks, as well as produce, frozen items, and desserts.

Buy the right size turkey: According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, about 204 million pounds of turkey, worth a total of $293 million, is tossed in the trash each year. The general rule of thumb to figure out how much turkey you need is 1 to 1 ½ pounds of turkey per person. Don’t worry, you’ll still have leftovers.

Sharing is caring: Who says you have to do all the cooking? Maybe this is the year you go potluck. As the host, you can provide the main meat dishes like turkey, ham, lasagna, or whatever your family traditions include. Then, ask your guests to each bring a side dish, dessert, or a bottle of their favorite beverage to complete the spread. But be sure to confirm what each person is bringing, or you may end up with five green bean casseroles.

Outsource the meal: Do you want to host Thanksgiving dinner but you’re not up to cooking this year? Check out mail-order meal kits. Some consider it the best of both worlds. It’s still a home cooked meal, but the menu and ingredients are all delivered right to your door. If you prefer to have someone else do all of the cooking, start scoping out local restaurants and grocery stores for Thanksgiving Day catering deals. You will likely spend more money than going the DIY route, but the savings in time and stress may be worth it. The most important thing this time of year, is to enjoy the holiday season and spend time with loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Article Source: Myriam DiGiovanni for Financialfeed.com

Turkey with a Side of Savings

Thanksgiving Day is a time for relaxing with family and friends and reflecting on life’s blessings. While the holidays can be hectic for some, it’s important to not let challenges, including financial stress, put a damper on the season. In order to fully enjoy and appreciate Turkey Day, there are a few things you can do to have a happy Thanksgiving without busting your budget.

Assign sides

One way you can surely save on Thanksgiving dinner is asking your friends and family to bring a side dish. If you take care of the big items such as the turkey and drinks, assigning sides for others to prepare and bring will save you time and money.

Think ahead

Prep ahead and don’t wait until the last minute. Many stores will feature holiday bargains leading up to the big day, so keep an eye on circulars and coupons.

Don’t overdo it

Once you know how many guests to expect, make plans for feeding exactly that amount of people. It’s natural to want to have leftovers for an endless amount of turkey sandwiches, but resist the urge to buy more food than what’s really necessary. Because chances are, your family will get sick of turkey and you’ll end up wasting food (and money).

Don’t use disposables

As cute as those festive paper plates are, don’t spend your money on disposable party supplies. They may be easier when it comes to clean up, but just think how much money you’ll save by using plates and glassware you already have.

Article Source: Wendy Bignon for CUInsight.com