Thanksgiving tends to be a major stressor for me and my budget.
As someone who doesn’t enjoy cooking, the idea of spending my day in the kitchen is far from appealing. Add to that the additional costs a traditional meal usually brings with it and it’s all I can do not to throw in the towel and order a pizza.
But so far, this year is lining up to be relatively stress-free.
Mr. GFB has taken the reigns on the cooking front, and by doing a little pre-planning we’ve managed to keep the grocery budget from exploding.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid overspending on your Thanksgiving dinner.
1 – Make a Plan and Keep It Simple
First thing’s first, you need to sort out your Thanksgiving menu. Pull your recipes together and figure out exactly what you’re cooking.
Make your grocery list with those recipes in mind and then stick to it. Everything looks tasty when you’re at the grocery store, but having a plan and a list will make it easier to avoid the temptations surrounding you.
Also, keep your menu simple.
When I was growing up we had more dishes than you could sample on one plate. We also had at least 15-20 people showing up to eat it all. Since we moved, there’s only the three of us now, so it’s not practical or really even possible for me to recreate all our favorites.
If you’re only cooking for a few folks, don’t go overboard with a giant turkey or tons of sides and extra desserts. Make sure you’re cooking an amount you can actually consume.
2 – Don’t Do It All on Your Own
If you’re entertaining or expecting a crowd, there’s no reason you should be doing all the work. Make it a potluck and ask your guests to bring something.
You can plan your menu together to avoid overlap and excess. It’s also a great way for everyone to chip in and feel involved. Plus it gives your guests a chance to share their favorite dishes too.
3 – Cook from Scratch
It’s usually cheaper to use fresh ingredients and make your dishes from scratch than buying pre-packaged versions.
It may require a bit more work depending on the recipe, but skipping the frozen veggies and pre-made desserts can help you stay on budget. It’ll probably taste better too.
4 – Compare Local Store Circulars
I know we all have our favorite stores we frequent, but don’t let your loyalty cost you money. Use Flipp to scan through the flyers of all the stores near you and see which store has the best deals on the items you’re planning to cook.
I probably wouldn’t spread my shopping out across 3 or 4 stores, but it may be worth switching up your routine or making an extra trip if the deals are really good.
5 – Use Coupons and Cash Back Apps
Coupons may not be a new concept for saving money, but once you have your list, check online for printable coupons and check Ibotta for any deals on brands you may not usually buy.
Once you’ve done your shopping, don’t forget to use Ibotta or Fetch Rewards to scan your receipts for cash back. If you’re new to the Fetch Rewards app you can use the coupon code V8CEG for 2,000 free Fetch Points.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you can put some of these tips to use and save money on your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Let me know if you do.
I hope you have a super tasty and happy Thanksgiving!