Wednesday, November 23, 2016

15 Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving Groceries

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It is extremely easy to spend money during the holidays with all the advertisers, family and friends asking you to buy this or buy that. Resist the temptation to spend money that you do not 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 perform 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 do not 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 15 effective ways to save money during the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Plan Ahead
Avoid waiting 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.

Know the Sale Cycles
Every grocery store has a sale cycle. During the holidays turkeys, Cornish hens and other poultry go on sale in early November. Buy your turkey or big meat items at least two to three weeks prior to Thanksgiving to get the best deal.  

Buy Sides Early
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.

Make a Budget
Create a food budget and avoid going over your budget. Avoid going grocery shopping when you are hungry.

Create a 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. Also consider asking guests to bring dishes.

Use a 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.

Utilize 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.

Shop at Dollar Stores
Buy spices and condiments at the dollar store. Use olive oil instead of salad dressing. You can also purchase paper products.

Verify quantity and prices during checkout. Ensure all discounts and coupons were applied to your total. It is easier to fix errors at the store than when returning to the store later.

Make From Scratch
Make you own bread, pasta, soda, jelly, preservatives, canned fruits, etc.

Shop Locally
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. Buy meats from local farms or Omish markets. Consider buying either a turkey or ham but not both.

Ask for Help
If you are having breakfast, brunch or dinner at your home ask friends and family to bring a dish to help cut down on costs.

Make Your Own 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.

Monitor Servings
Monitor the amount of leftovers each person takes especially if you have guests that take large portions.

Save Leftovers
Freeze leftovers, take to work for lunch or eat the rest of the week. This will help to save money on grocery costs and eating out.

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