With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it may feel like a time of financial mayhem when you consider all of the groceries, recipes and décor needed to make the occasion festive and fun for your guests, whether you are hosting the big event or an active participant. Here are some tips for saving money, while ensuring that your guests are happy as you prepare for the big day:
· Encourage a “potluck meal” where possible. If you are going to do the work of preparing the turkey, delegate other dishes to your family members and guests. Thanksgiving is a cooperative effort that can bring family and friends closer if everyone pitches in.
· Use what you have as much as possible. If you already have a lot of extra food in your pantry, look for diverse ways to use it by visiting www.allrecipes.com. You can type in the word of the food and it will generate a list of recipes to choose from.
· Use a reductionist philosophy when it comes to configuring your menu. While there are lots of recipe ideas out there, there is nothing wrong with sticking with your favorites or the traditional choices such like stuffing, cranberries and sweet potatoes. Essentially, you’ve got your starch with the dressing or potatoes; there is no need to cook both and ditch the green bean casserole if you have to.
· Create a checklist for your guests with the menu options and side dishes that they can select from. Let them know that each person can select 5 choices and the ones that get the most votes wins.
· Keep your eye out for coupons and sales, wherever possible. Bear in mind that grocery stores typically rotate their sales so be on the lookout ahead of time for special deals. Also, if you need to pre-order a turkey, there may be a special whereby the earlier you order, the cheaper the turkey. You can keep it in the freezer to maintain freshness.
· Check www.moneysavingmom.com prior to your trip to the grocery store to check for any additional online coupons that you can apply to certain items.
· Prevent last minute purchasing of prepared pre-made dishes by cooking as much food ahead of time as possible such as mashed potatoes and apple pie.
· Since turkey is an expensive source of protein, buy a larger turkey or an extra one to use for future meals such as turkey salads and sandwiches. You can keep them in the freezer to bake for a later time. This will help you save money on future meals that require protein.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save money during the Thanksgiving holidays if you make it a team effort and plan ahead. For more information on this topic, visit the following link.