If you love Thanksgiving for the big bountiful meal but don’t enjoy the bountiful amount out of your wallet, you are not alone.  The holidays always brings on the notion of spending and stress! How about some ways to cut your costs and still enjoy the festive holiday? From the holiday meal to having family and friends pitch in, here are tips to save money this Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Get everyone involved: Believe it or not, your guests may appreciate you asking them to lend a hand for the Thanksgiving meal and preparation. Ask friends and family to bring food, eating utensils, decorations, or even a bottle of wine. You can save money and your guests will feel appreciative to help out.
  • Plan early: The sooner you start thinking about the menu, your guests, and your home, the sooner you can save money. Ever heard the phrase ‘Money is Time”? Visit the grocery stores now and start buying ingredients for your favorite dishes. Cook a few meals and freeze until a few hours before you need them! This in turn will save time and money by not waiting until the last minute.
  • Shop in non-grocery stores for sales: Many home merchandise stores have a food related area of their store. Consider shopping in these stores for canned and non-perishable foods that can be on discount. You may be able to buy the decorations, canned food items all in one place!
  • Simplify your menu: While we all would love to feel like professional chefs on Thanksgiving and use gourmet ingredients, keeping the menu simpler could be cheaper. Look through your pantry and see if there are items you can substitute for pricier ones.  Consider buying generic over popular high priced brands when shopping for groceries as well.
  • Cook over pre-packaged: In general the cost to buy a pre-packaged food item is more than the ingredients it costs to make them.  If you are handy in the kitchen, the cost of a store bought frozen pie could go towards 3 side dishes for your holiday meal. Save money and cook it yourself!
  • Let the kids pitch in: Most kids enjoy cooking, especially around the holiday. Let them help you make desserts like cookies, and cakes to save money on buying expensive desserts. The time you spend with your kids is priceless and you will form holiday memories to last for years to come.
  • Cook less: Holiday meals are infamous for having leftovers. Instead of having a week’s worth of food leftover, how about cook less in the beginning? This will save you money, and may help your waistline too! After all, there is a lot more holiday foods to enjoy this season.

Thanksgiving entertaining doesn’t have to be synonyms with being expensive and wallet emptying. Use these cost saving tips to bring savings to your holiday and relieve stress. For more cost saving tips consider inviting less people to your meal, or ask people to RSVP to prevent over planning and cooking. Have a great holiday season and save money too!

Freshome Reader’s tell us your tips for how you save money at the holidays!