Sunday, November 23, 2014

17 Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving Groceries


During the holidays it is extremely easy to spend money with all the advertisers, family and friends asking you to buy this or buy that. Resist the temptation to spend money that you don’t have, buy more than you need, or buy something you probably will not use simply because it is on sale. Many times items that are on sale are not really a bargain. 

Remember the real reason for the holiday and focus on giving and being with your family. If you have to go shopping do comparison shopping to see if you can find the item for a cheaper price at another store or online.  

If you love the Thanksgiving meal but don’t enjoy the money spent from your wallet, you are not alone.  The added cost of decorations and feeding family and friends can be overwhelming and full of peer pressure. Saving money during the holidays may seem like an impossible task but saving money on your holiday meals is not as difficult as it may seem. Here are 19 effective tips to save money during Thanksgiving. 

  1. Plan ahead. Don't wait until the day before Thanksgiving to go shopping. Lines at the register are longer and the selection of items is limited. Try shopping at least a week in advance or early in the morning.
  2. Sale cycles. Every grocery store has a sale cycle. During the holidays turkeys, Cornish hens and other poultry go on sale in early November. In December, prime rib, hams, and roasts go on sale. Buy your turkey or big meat items at least 2 to 3 weeks prior to Thanksgiving to get the best deal.  
  3. Sides. Buy side items at least one week prior to Thanksgiving to get the best deal. Spirits and non-perishables items such as stuffing mix, cake mix, and other packaged items can be purchased at least a week in advance.
  4. Budget. Create a food budget and avoid going over your budget.
  5. Menu. Create a menu ahead of time and stick to it.  Consider making low cost items for the menu such as potato salad, salads, sweet potatoes, casseroles, etc.
  6. Shopping List. Use a shopping list and stick to it. Buy items in season. Make a list of what you need and can afford to buy. Make a list of what you need but can’t afford to buy and ask attendees to bring those items.
  7. Coupons. Know your prices and when items go on sale.  Use coupons to save more when buying items on sale items. Shop at stores that offer double coupons or honor competitor price matching. Check your local Sunday or Wednesday newspaper. Visit coupon websites, online coupon clubs, and manufacturer websites for additional coupons.
  8. Condiments. Buy spices and condiments at the dollar store.
  9. Salad Dressing. Use olive oil instead of salad dressing.
  10. Meat. Buy meats from local farms or Omish markets. Consider buying either a turkey or ham but not both.
  11. Verify. Verify quantity and prices during checkout.
  12. Make from scratch. Make you own bread, pasta, soda, jelly, preservatives, canned fruits, etc.
  13. Local shopping. Visit local farmers or farmers’ markets that sell their food directly to customers.  Purchase fruits, vegetables, meats and deserts directly for much less than you would pay at a grocery store.
  14. Ask for help. If you are having breakfast, brunch or dinner at your house ask friends and family to bring a dish to help cut down on costs.
  15. Decorations. Make your own decorations or shop online to find inexpensive decorations. Buy plastic flowers instead of fresh flowers which can be reused. Pack and store decorations carefully to reuse next year.
  16. Monitor. Monitor the amount of leftovers each person takes.
  17. Leftovers.  Freeze leftovers, take to work for lunch or eat the rest of the week.


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