10 Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Dinner

by Marcy on November 8, 2013 · 0 comments

10 ways to save on Thanksgiving Dinner

Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! I have hosted Thanksgiving several times over the years, and I can honestly say that the food tasted just as good on the years where I stuck to a budget as it did on the years that I went all out (i.e. pre-ordering my turkey from Whole Foods!).

I get a break from hosting this year and will likely be making pies only, but I thought it might be helpful to share some of my holiday meal money saving strategies with you.

Here are 10 Tips for Saving Money on your Thanksgiving Dinner:

1. Shop Early – Start shopping as early as possible! When you come across a great deal make sure to take advantage of it. Buying things as you see them on sale will allow you to take advantage of rock bottom prices. I started shopping last week – stocking up on basics at ALDI that will get me through both my Thanksgiving AND Christmas baking!

2. Buy a Frozen Turkey – Buying a frozen turkey can easily save you 25% over buying a fresh turkey. Keep in mind that you will need several days to allow the turkey to thaw. In my experience it has always taken longer for the turkey to thaw than the guidelines have told me.

3. Accept Help – When a friend or family member asks you what they can bring, tell them what they can bring. Do not feel bad about accepting help. Your guests truly want to bring something and they would rather bring something you need.

4. Keep it Simple – We tend to go a little crazy on holidays. We often think we need to have eight side dishes, two types of meats, several salads and two or more desserts. This year make it a point to keep Thanksgiving dinner simple. You really only need one type of meat, two or three side dishes, one bread, one salad and one dessert. Ok…maybe 2 or 3 desserts. ;-)

5. Skip the Expensive Wine – Purchasing alcohol for your Thanksgiving dinner is one of the biggest expenses. Consider purchasing boxed wine instead of bottled wine. There are some fabulous boxed wines on the market and it will save you some money.

6. Order Thanksgiving Dinner – This is not always the most affordable option but it is worth looking into. More and more grocery stores are offering fully cooked holiday meals. Bob Evans also makes a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Compare the price of ordering compared to making it yourself.

7. Don’t Cook – Not cooking on Thanksgiving will save you the most money! So many soup kitchens and other organizations need help on the holidays. If you are not planning a big Thanksgiving dinner you might want to consider volunteering your time and helping those in need.

8. Look for Promotions – During the holidays you will come across several grocery store promotions. Most grocery stores offer a way for you to get a free turkey. Make sure to look into these promotions as they can save you money on your holiday grocery shopping.

9. Make Your Own Desserts – Making your own pies and other desserts is much cheaper than buying store-bought. Not to mention homemade usually always taste better than store-bought. Making your own desserts is a great way to start a family tradition with your children. (I love the pie crust recipe in this cookbook. I thought it was silly to make my own crust until I tried this!)

10. Split the Cost – If you have a big family consider splitting the cost of Thanksgiving dinner with a family member. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a sibling, Grandparent or any other family member to see if they would be willing to split the cost of this year’s meal with you.

What tips do you have for saving money on Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners?

Find more Frugal Living Tips here. Are you looking for some new recipes to try this Thanksgiving? Check out these 15 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes,, 15 Fall Apple Recipes or this Pumpkin Thumbprint Butter Cookie Recipe.

Also be sure check out these adorable 15 Thanksgiving DIY Craft Ideas – I share a fun and easy “Turkey Toast” breakfast to keep the little ones busy while you are busy in the kitchen.

Find my favorite Holiday Deals here.

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