[Courtesy The Luxury Post]
There’s good news and bad news about the cost of Thanksgiving this year. The bad news is that food prices have gone up, so everyone will be paying 13% more for dinner this year.
The good news is that Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t cost nearly as much as it feels when you’re shelling out money at the check stand. In fact, the cost for Thanksgiving dinner averages out to mere $5 a person–plus leftovers. This makes Thanksgiving one of the most frugal holidays around.
To save even more, here are 5 tips to save money on Thanksgiving dinner:
1. Make from scratch. Generally speaking, making gravy from pan drippings costs much less than buying the canned stuff and mashing potatoes yourself costs less than the boxed flakes–plus, in my humble opinion, they taste much better.
2. Buy staples in bulk. I buy the staples of a big dinner like butter, flour, sugar, and milk in bulk, which saves significant amounts of money. For example, I buy butter in bulk at Costco. The last time I did the math, I pay $.30 per stick of butter versus paying $.75 per stick in my grocery store. The real cost of a meal isn’t the turkey, but these little extras that you pay too much for at the last minute.
3. Estimate your guests’ appetite. A trick is to sit for a minute and visualize how much your guests are likely to eat and prepare accordingly. Say you’re chopping vegetables for the salad–look in the bowl and imagine the lettuce portioned out among the guests. Do you need a bit more? A bit less? You’ll be surprised how well this works. It will keep you from making too much of something or from putting that extra dish on the table that no one will have room for.
4. Use natural decorations. There’s nothing wrong with buying decorations, but to save money, candles, greenery from the yard, white Christmas lights, and fall leaves work just as well and look festive if applied with a little creativity.
5. Use up leftovers. Duh. But really, be vigilant about those leftovers! Almost everything in a Thanksgiving dinner can be frozen. And don’t forget to turn that turkey carcass into turkey broth.
What are your tips for saving money this Thanksgiving?