How to do Thanksgiving on a Budget

Thanksgiving is just the beginning of the holiday season and as it approaches, your expenses also increase. It is definitely not a friendly time for your wallet. Although a turkey dinner doesn’t come cheap, there is still a way to host your guests in style without going broke. All you need to do is to get Thanksgiving organized.

Buy your turkey frozen

The turkey takes 40% of the meal cost. However, you can save money if you buy a frozen one from the supermarket instead of a fresh bird. Keep in mind that you’ll need one day in the fridge for every 5 pounds to let it thaw out. Here are some turkey recipes you can try out.

Orange-Rosemary Roasted Turkey

Turkey with Molasses Butter

Turkey with Corn Bread

Think seasonal ingredients

Whether for main, side dish or dessert, always choose ingredients that are in season. Go creative and instead of picking the traditional holiday recipes, use zucchini, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin or winter squash. Need some ideas?

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Lemon and Scallions

Zucchini with Pesto

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Deep Fried Sweet Potato Balls

Baby Sweet Potato Rosti

Speedy Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut

Cranberry Sauce

Steamed Cranberry Roly-Poly

Pumpkin Basil Soup

Maple roasted pumpkin

Pumpkin and mozzarella risotto

Coconut Rice with Winter Squash

Bake from scratch

Pre-ready baking necessities are a definite time-savior but come at a premium price. If you count the cost of flour, sugar, butter or cocoa powder you’ll find that the price is significantly smaller than any pre-made bake. So, roll up your sleeves and make your own masterpieces. You can choose from one of these recipes.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Apple Cheesecake

Inside-down Apple Cake

Pumpkin Pie

Accept an in-store holiday deal

Regardless the size of the dinner you’re preparing this year, always check store flyers for the best prices.  Paying with coupons is another thing you should take full advantage of. The trick to save a lot of money is to stock up when the store is running a promotion. Ingredients like cranberry sauce, black olives or pureed pumpkin will last for several months and will be more than welcome on Christmas or New Years.

Plan your menu ahead

Never go in a supermarket without a list of everything you need. Shopping for ingredients on a whim will cost you a whole lot more. This is also how you trim the menu and you don’t overbuy ingredients. If opposite, you’ll be left with a bunch of leftovers on which you could’ve saved money. 

Host a potluck dinner

Instead of cooking all by yourself, ask your guests to bring a side dish, dessert or drinks to cut off some of the costs. What you can do is create a master menu and others can choose want kind of dish they want to bring in addition. In this way, you all get to chip in for your feast. 

There is no need to spend a fortune in order to celebrate with a delightful feast. All you need to do is use these tricks.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!