The holidays can strain your wallet and budget, even though it’s supposed to be a relaxing, enjoyable time with your loved ones. Gather around your Thanksgiving table this year with confidence in your cooking skills and little worry about your finances. Our team at Huffines Chevrolet Plano found the best ways to save money on Thanksgiving this year for you to use and create a memorable holiday for your family.
Organize a Potluck Dinner
The first way you can save money this holiday season is by organizing a potluck with your friends and family members. Speak with those attending the dinner and ask what they can contribute to the meal, such as mashed potatoes, vegetables, beverages, or napkins. This can help you save money because you’ll only have to spend money on ingredients for a few dishes or items rather than paying for the entire dinner. Your family may love this idea because it gets everyone involved and helps ensure that there’s something everyone will love to eat at dinner.
Browse the Pantry
Before shopping for ingredients for your potluck meal, browse your pantry. You may have ingredients sitting in the back cupboard you may have forgotten about, which means you’ll have fewer items to buy. Just make sure to check the dates before you use them. Don’t forget to scope out the refrigerator and freezer for other items you may already own.
Often, you may forget about the spices you already have and purchase them new again, so check your spice rack to take inventory. Common holiday spices to look for may include:
Develop a List
The next step to saving money this Thanksgiving is to develop a shopping list and stick to it. Sometimes, browsing through the store without a list and only an idea in your head can cause you to make unnecessary purchases or forget items, which means you’ll need to make another trip to the store. If you’re doing a potluck, look up the ingredients for your recipe and make a list with only those items. This way, when you enter the store, you know what you’re looking for, and you can avoid going in and out of all the aisles.
If you’re cooking the entire holiday meal, you can still review the recipes and craft a list based only on the recipes. For example, if you only need a small portion of garlic, consider purchasing a singular clove rather than the pre-bundled packages that come with more than you need.
Start Shopping Early
You might think it’s better to shop closer to the holiday because of the store deals, but you may find your wallet feels better if you start about a month earlier. Often, grocery stores have various sales throughout the month that you can take advantage of if you pay attention to sales papers from the mail and in-store signs. Gather all your canned or frozen goods early because they’re the least likely to perish before Thanksgiving.
Be Mindful of Sales and Coupons
In addition to various grocery store sales, consider downloading the store’s app on your phone if available. On these apps, you may redeem more discounts, coupons, and other rewards you can use to decrease your total. Often, markets put popular Thanksgiving ingredients on sale during the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Once you’re done shopping, share unused coupons with your friends and family members to help them save money this season. After all, it is the season of giving.
Decorate With What’s Available
If you’re hosting the potluck in your home, you and your family can make decorations with what’s available rather than buying new centerpieces and other elements. Thanksgiving is a fall holiday, which means you can use what nature has already given you with its acorns, pine cones, and fall-colored leaves. Gather your family and look in the backyard or your local park to see if you can find anything fun to use. Then, you can use craft supplies you may already have, such as glitter, glue, and spray paint, to add some pizazz to your homemade decorations.
If you don’t already have craft supplies, head to your local dollar store to find some cheap items.
Find Alternative Ingredients
Saving money during the holidays may mean finding alternative ingredients to use instead of what you may choose normally. For example, consider picking in-season vegetables because they’re cheaper, like swapping your green bean casserole for another tasty dish with squash. Here are some other in-season vegetables for November to reach for instead of the expensive, out-of-season ones:
- Butternut squash.
- Sweet potatoes.
- Brussels sprouts.
Do the Work Yourself
Choosing to do the hard cooking work yourself rather than purchasing the pre-made store options may help you save some money. For example, when baking an apple pie, you’ll need to slice the apples to fit them in the crust-lined pan. So, rather than buying containers with the pre-chopped fruits, buy the apples whole and slice them yourself. It may take longer, but it can help keep some money in your wallet. This can also apply to vegetables and other store-made products, compared to buying the whole ingredients.
You can prepare the following Thanksgiving sides with ingredients rather than using pre-made items:
Buy Generic Products
One of the easiest, most resourceful ways to save money on your Thanksgiving grocery bill is by purchasing generic products. Generally, store-brand items are cheaper than well-known name brands, and they usually contain the same or at least similar ingredients. This way, you can still buy the classic stuffing for your dinner rather than making it from scratch if that’s not your strong suit. Popular generic products to choose over name brands include:
- Boxed products.
- Baking ingredients.
- Canned fruits and vegetables.
Our team at Huffines Chevrolet Plano wants to help you save money on your vehicle while you’re busy saving money on your Thanksgiving meal this year. Contact us to learn more about how you can get the best deals and service coupons for various car maintenance as the year comes to an end. Visit our dealership in Plano, Texas, to speak with our sales experts and get answers to any questions regarding your vehicle repairs or other services.