Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so the grocery stores are about to be packed with people buying last minute odds and ends for the feast. Grocery bills are sure to grow as well. There are some cost-saving measures you can employ before the holiday to make sure the wallet isn’t cleaned out like the plates around the table might be.
1. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? Get a headcount of the expected amount of guests and add two to four. Everyone’s got a relative who has a new girlfriend or boyfriend every holiday (not every year, every holiday) or the new little ones who may be joining the table. Make sure you have enough for those who plan to be there, and those who want to join the party.
2. Divide and Conquer: Holiday grocery shopping can be daunting, so take a shopping buddy to keep you focused. After you plan your menu, divvy up the grocery store trips. Some items may only be purchased at specialty food stores. Send two relatives to the store with instructions and only enough money to get what you need. Make sure that those who do the shopping look into deals like the free turkey deal. Some grocery stores give a bird away if a certain dollar limit is met.
3. Skip Unpopular Dishes: You may love your aunt’s green bean casserole, but if it’s normally a flop ask her to bring the rolls instead. Wasted food at Thanksgiving is, well, not a great way of saying thanks, and it’ll put a dent in your food budget. Be realistic about what works and doesn’t work and go from there.
4. Wait: If you have a lot of family coming in from out of town, it may worth the wait to hold dinner on Saturday instead of Thursday this year. It’s a great way to avoid the crowds and save on deeply discounted food and wine.
5. Shop Your Pantry: You probably already have all of the staples you need for many of the dishes on the menu. Make that your first stop before you go anywhere.