Thanksgiving dinner holds a special place in the hearts of many people across the country. Not only anticipating the delicious food, but having the family together to celebrate the season is a heartwarming anticipation. Here are some frugal ideas on how to create this year’s Thanksgiving dinner on a dime:
* Start planning at least a month in advance; this will allow you to make your menu and shopping list so you can take advantage of your local sales. People who start planning their dinner menu in late September or October can take advantage of store sales on pantry items, canned goods, baking items and other fall staples.
*Instead of cooking all day making the entree, sides and dessert, ask your guests to bring a covered dish (unless they’re from out of town), so all you’ll have to do is the entree and beverages. Most people are quite willing to pitch in. This not only saves time, but it definitely saves money as well!
* Score a big one. A big turkey, that is. You’d be surprised at how many grocery stores run free turkey promotions for Thanksgiving. Usually, you just have to spend a certain amount of money to qualify for the freebie. If you’re especially lucky, your company may give you a free turkey.
* Use your slow-cooker! This idea is not only great for multi-tasking (especially when your oven and stove-top are busy with so many dishes at once!), but it allows you to make up side-dishes from scratch and that saves a ton of money. For example, make your own stuffing/dressing by using Challah bread, your own veggies and herbs and let it slow-cook in the Crockpot until your guests are ready to eat. Check out five Thanksgiving dinner staples here that you can “set and forget.”
*Decorate inside from the outside. Meaning, you don’t have to spend a ton on store-bought decorations when all you have to do is venture into your own backyard. Think beautiful, colorful leaves, pine cones, and dried hydrangeas. Make your guests feel special with their own personalized place setting by writing their name on a leaf with a sharpie. Pine cones in a decorative bowl make a simple, lovely centerpiece and dried hydrangeas in vases around the house add a festive touch.
What other suggestions would you add for creating a dazzling Turkey Day dinner on a dime?