If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year you’re probably feeling a sense of excitement and dread. Well fear no more. Here are 5 foolproof ways to save time and money this Thanksgiving, making the experience enjoyable, not frightening.
1. Have a potluck
The cost of a Thanksgiving meal last year for 10 people was $49.41. That can be burdensome to many people, not to mention the amount of time you’ll spend cooking that can’t be assigned a monetary value. One way to eliminate the cost and the stress is to host a potluck.
You can provide the main fixings, such as turkey, potatoes, and rolls, but then have your guests bring their favorite side dish. Plus, this way your guests get to feel like they’re helping.
2. Cook only what will be eaten
Don’t be tempted to cook food just because you feel like it should be at the table. If only a few people like the dish, or you know from previous years you end up with a lot left of a particular dish, just skip it this year and opt for a dish you know will be devoured. This saves you time from cooking it, and money because your meal won’t go to waste.
3. Buy over time and in season
If you only remember one tip, let it be this one. Start shopping early and build your menu around seasonal fruits and veggies.
Shopping over time does a couple things for you. First off, it eases the burden of having to go to the store the weekend before and hope you get everything you need. Secondly, it allows you to look for deals along the way to help save you money.
As for purchasing the seasonal foods, fruit and veggies not in season double and sometimes triple in price. So although your raspberry pie may go over well in the summer, you’ll be paying a pretty penny to make it in the fall.
4. Bake ahead
Make anything you can ahead of time. For instance, your pies. You can make most fruit pies ahead of time and then freeze them. Thaw them a day or two in advance and pop them in the oven.
Some casseroles can be mixed up ahead of time as well. Moral of the story, prepare as much as you can in advance.
Another tidbit of time saving advice includes remembering to use your crock-pot. It’s simple, doesn’t take up a ton of space, and can cook for you while you’re doing other items on your to-do list.
5. Choose store brand
You can probably use store brand items in most of the recipes you’re making without a noticeable difference. This will save you a ton of money on groceries, especially if you’re bargain hunting.
Appreciate the memories made
If you feel rushed on Thanksgiving, take a deep breath and remember Thanksgiving is about family gathering and appreciating life a little more. Don’t let hosting a family gathering get the best of you, appreciate the memories you’re making.
What other tips helped you save time and money on Thanksgiving?