17 Thanksgiving Savings Tips

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? A typical Thanksgiving dinner can cost $50 or more. Although that’s not a massive chunk of change, and still cheaper than going out, you can cut the price even more! Take a look at some of our Thanksgiving savings ideas!

Thanksgiving Savings ideas!

1. Who’s Coming Over?

thanksgiving savings, family party table

If you know how many people to expect for dinner, you can plan your shopping and cooking and avoid overspending. So, make sure to prepare enough food for a couple of extra people in case a few show up last minute. Even if they don’t come, you have some leftovers!

Also, make sure to check if anyone has any food allergies before you begin cooking!

2. Collect Your Freebies

At some stores during November, if you spend a certain amount (about $200-$400) you can get a free turkey! Ask your local supermarket for details!

3. Get Your Shopping Game on Now

Make a list of everything you’ll need for Thanksgiving and watch the sales during November. Each time you go shopping, pick up the ingredients and products you’ll need when they go on sale. You don’t have to buy everything at once! This way, you won’t be stressed dropping a bunch of money in one shot. And, you won’t struggle to find something at the last minute and pay double for it. You’ll thank yourself later!

4. Visit Ethnic Markets thanksgiving savings, bakery

Local Ethnic markets like Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc. often have cheap (but good quality!) spices & herbs, produce, meats, grains, nuts, candies & sweets, etc. The products they sell are usually much fresher than what you’ll find at a chain store as well. Check one out, and maybe you’ll find your new favorite store!

5. Momma Told Me, You Better Shop Around

We all have our favorite place to shop, but you could save a lot by checking out sales at different stores in your area. November is a huge shopping month, and supermarkets compete for customers, so they offer various deals. All the better for you and your wallet! Get ads from a few different places and compare prices before you shop.

8. Use What Your Momma Gave You

Make sure to keep using your stealthy shopping skills you’ve learned when buying for Thanksgiving!

  • Make a list
  • Get the ads and compare prices
  • Use coupons
  • Download a couponing App!
  • Buy in bulk (if you need it)
  • Get the generic if you can substitute for the name brand
  • Get the loyalty card/ Enroll in the savings club at your store
  • Buy and freeze (example, buy apples/fruit on sale, freeze and use for pies later)

7. Check What You Have

Keep your bathrobe and slippers on, and take a look at your cupboards and cabinets before you head to the store. You may already have chicken stock, nuts, cream of chicken soup, or other canned or dry ingredients you’ll need for the big day just sitting there. Use it up before you buy more!

8. Channel your Inner Martha Stewart

Instead of cutting corners with instant potatoes or things from a box, make your own from scratch! Homemade foods taste better, cost much less and yield more than the instant stuff that only seems easier. Honestly, mashed potatoes and other dishes are not much more work to cook! And, you can find easy to follow recipes online. Overall, Thanksgiving foods are not complicated to make. Invite your kids or other family members to help out, and it will make the preparation even more enjoyable and memorable!

9. What’s in Season?thanksgiving savings, apple crate

Foods taste better and are cheaper when they are in season. Don’t kill your budget buying things that aren’t in season! Pears, broccoli, squash, potatoes, cranberries, pumpkins, parsnips, and apples (among many others) are in season and sell for cheap. Make use of them!

Check out the Seasonal Food Guide to see what’s in season in your neck of the woods.

Note: If you absolutely have to have something but it’s not in season and expensive, try buying frozen or canned. (If it doesn’t matter for the recipe of course).

10. Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Skip expensive vegetables and fruits and go for the lower priced stuff! And again, buy in season! Cheaper veggies like corn and carrots can be prepared lots of different delicious ways. Good for your stomach and your piggy bank! Also, turkeys are on sale in November so get one for Thanksgiving and even one for Christmas you can freeze and cook a few weeks later.

11. Sweet, Savory, and Simple

Fancy recipes from famous chefs often call for ingredients that are expensive, hard to find, or that we frankly haven’t heard of before. Though delicious, getting all the things you’ll need for some of these recipes can take quite a chunk of your budget. (And stress you out making it!) Make classic dishes from tried and true recipes from either grandma or home cooks online. Use recipes that have great ratings and short and simple ingredients lists. Be sure to read the recipe reviews too!

12. Ditch the Platter Plates

Waste not, want not. Get smaller dishes so that your guests will not overfill their plate and end up wasting food. Everyone will feel fuller and happier instead of feeling sick from overeating.

13. Don’t Make Foods People Hate

While it seems pretty obvious, year after year we whip up unpopular dishes just because it’s a ‘tradition”. Well, let’s start a new tradition where we don’t have a whole pan of food go to waste because it grosses everyone out. Make the crowd pleasers and you’ll please yourself and your budget too!

14. Skip Expensive Decor and Put the Kids to Work thanksgiving savings, cute kid with leaves

A fun way to keep the little monkeys occupied while you’re cooking and preparing is to have them decorate! Get construction paper, markers, crayons, and cardboard and have them make paper turkeys, autumn leaves, paper chains etc. Have kids use leaves acorns, etc. to decorate too!These kind of decorations are much more memorable and cheaper than the ones from the department or craft store.


15. Make Your Own Deserts

Usually, we make the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing etc. from scratch and then decide to just go pick up a couple desserts. While it seems like a money and time-saver to just buy it, just one large, good quality cake or pie can cost between $8-$20 or more. With some highly rated, easy recipes found online, you can quickly whip up some tasty desserts for a fraction of the cost. And, desserts can be made a few days ahead of time so you’re not overwhelmed the day of the party

16. Who Says Thanksgiving Has to Be on Thanksgiving?

If you have people coming from far away, have your party a day or two later. This way, everyone can be together, and you can get the tremendous after-Thanksgiving discount sales at the supermarket.

17. Sharing is Caring thanksgiving savings, family dinner

Even if you are hosting the party, there is nothing wrong with asking your friends and family to bring something. While you can make the main fare (turkey, potatoes, stuffing, etc.) guests can bring a side dish, drink, dessert or hor d’ oeuvre to share. Everyone has a specialty they’re proud of and will be happy to show off a little of their culinary skills, and help you in the process. Afterall, the first Thanksgiving was a potluck anyway!



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