Thanksgiving Dinner for $50

by Marcy on November 20, 2008 · 0 comments

Early last week I was asked by my local NBC station if I could come up with a Thanksgiving menu and purchase everything I needed to make it for $50 or less. It took some planning on my part, but I was able to purchase what I needed to feed 6-8 people for $50 and some change. And to let you know that this is more than doable, I did my shopping *before* all of the great turkey prices were announced ($0.29/lb!?!)…so I can only imagine what I would be able to do with that $50 if I were able to redo the challenge this week!

Here is the menu that I came up with:

* Turkey
* Stuffing
* Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
* Green Beans with Almonds
* Dinner Rolls

When planning this menu I tried to use dishes that I normally make during the holidays, while spending less money to make them. I used coupons when I could, matched them up with sales, and defaulted to store brand items if they were cheaper.

I also tried to find “double duty” items. For example, I put carrots in my stuffing, but only use a few, so I decided to use the rest as a side dish. I also like to serve punch or some other type of drink that I don’t make very often, so this year I decided to combine the cranberry sauce tradition with my drink idea and found this recipe for Cranberry Punch. I also bought heavy whipping cream to put in the mashed potatoes (a holiday treat!) and will use the leftover to whip up as a topping for my cheesecake.

I really do believe that it is possible to feed your family well on a budget…even during the holidays. Planning, shopping around, using coupons with sales and getting creative are my best tips for accomplishing this.

For a really great series about Thanksgiving on a budget, head on over to Money Saving Mom. She paired up with Erin at $5 Dinners for this great series.

What are your favorite holiday dinner savings tips? I would love to hear your ideas!

P.S. The $50 Thanksgiving Dinner Challenge segment will be on NBC4 First at 4 today between 4-5 PM. You should be able to view the video here if you aren’t local and are interested in watching.

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