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Are you planning on feeding a crowd for the holidays? Whether you are feeding 5 or 15 fixing a big holiday spread can still cost a fortune. It really doesn’t have to though, if you are willing to spend a few minutes and get started now. Yes, I know we still have a month before Thanksgiving, but saving money usually happens because you were prepared early… procrastinating definitely isn’t a frugal habit!
It All Starts With a Plan
First, you need to plan early. Decide what you want to serve, down to every side, sauce and dessert. We will break this down into ingredients, but before you go there… lets delegate. Everyone loves helping add their dish to the table, and if you have other families joining you most will ask “What can we bring?” Don’t be shy, they want to help and your budget would love the help. Share the dishes you were thinking about with them and see if there is anything they would like to handle. The more you delegate, the more you save!
Start A Month Out
Once everything has been delegated, now you need to start to make an ingredient list for what is left on your menu. Don’t forget to add any paper goods, condiments, and even decor items to your list. Having this list ready means that over the next month you can start to watch sales and buy the items you need when they are actually on sale.
As you watch sales, it’s important to know what a “real” grocery sale is. To save the most money you want to look for sales that are at least 40% off of the regular price. An example: Canned vegetables are normally $1, but you want to grab them when they are on sale for 60¢ or less. It may seem strange to buy all the fixings for your green bean casserole 25 days before thanksgiving, but if we are talking about saving 50% and storing it for a few weeks… it’s not a hard decision.
Clip Those Coupons
Buying an item on a “true” sale is a massive savings, but you can save even more by adding in coupons. Keep an eye out for awesome coupons in participating newspapers November 2nd from Crisco & Pillsbury, plus lots of other food and baking coupons throughout November and December. We want to save the coupons and use them when the item is at that great sale price. Pairing the 40%-plus sale and the coupons allows you to grab some items for pennies and some items for free!
I know for some folks I lost you at the coupons, but don’t tune out the savings. Every little bit helps especially with a large meal! We will see coupons and sales on every part of your meal from the turkey to the sweet potatoes and even down the White Lily flower in your pie.
For more tips on saving on meals and decorations this holiday season, check out our Pinterest board.
Want some ideas of the savings? Here are some of the prices we saw last year for key items in a southern Thanksgiving dinner:
Turkey: 49¢ lb
Ham: 99¢ to $1.49 lb
Pecans: $5.99 lb
Cranberries: 25¢ to $1 lb
Onions: 80¢ lb
Green Beans: 99¢ lb
Sweet Potatoes: 40¢ lb
Potatoes: 59¢ lb
Fried Onions: $1.99
Canned Vegetables: 42¢
Flour: $1.99 for 5 lb
Sugar: $1 for 4 lb
Coffee: $3 to $5 per bag