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Cut costs and save time on a Thanksgiving meal

November 07, 2019

Hosting Thanksgiving lunch or dinner is a large undertaking. Not only do you have to go out and buy groceries, you also have to prep food and cook. However, there are simple ways you can limit the amount of time and dollars you spend for this occasion. Keep reading for tips on how to cut costs and save time on a Thanksgiving meal.

  • Keep dishes basic — turkey, potatoes, stuffing and vegetables. You don't need to cook up a bunch of fancy appetizers or main-course items.
  • Think about roasting a smaller cut of meat, such as a turkey breast, if you aren't going to have a large group to feed.
  • Try shopping around, if it's worth the time going to different stores. This could help you find the best bargains on different ingredients.
  • Check your pantry for supplies you may already have.
  • Buy in bulk from wholesale stores like Costco or Sam's Club.
  • Buy ingredients such as boxes of stuffing or canned goods early. That way you won't be caught with last-minute shopping and pricing.
  • Try a potluck-style meal by having each guest bring a dish to share. You won't be stuck making all the food yourself, and everybody gets to share their favorite foods.
  • Get an idea of how many guests you'll have, and estimate how much food each person is likely to eat.
  • Look for products that are pre-made or pre-prepped. This could include canned or frozen vegetables and bags of already sliced, cubed or peeled veggies or fruits. Also, consider bread mixes and frozen pie crust.
  • Spread out your prep work so you aren't doing everything on the day of. If you mix dressings/sauces the night before, for example, it'll save you valuable time later.

For more on this subject, read:
- Cook Up a Cheap Thanksgiving Dinner With These 5 Tips
- A Thanksgiving feast for pennies
- Save on Thanksgiving With Tips From Trader Joe's Super Fans