Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect time to reflect on gratitude in your life, but the stress of prepping, cooking and hosting a big meal for family and friends can leave little time for contemplation. That's why you might want to look for ways to simplify the holiday and save some money, too.
Here are tips on ways to spend less on the big meal — whether it's home-cooked, catered or at a restaurant — and hopefully maximize your time with loved ones around the table:
Shop Local Grocery Deals
Grocery stores usually offer major sales around the holidays. Make your list of needs in advance, set a budget and pay attention to where the bargains are. You can usually buy any canned or boxed items — pumpkin, cranberries, stuffing, etc. — a few weeks to a month ahead of time.
Many stores also offer great sales on turkey closer to the holiday, so it's worth comparing to see which one has the cheapest bird by the pound. Your local store may also price match, so keep those circulars (or your phone) handy when you shop.
Throw a Potluck Dinner
Just because you are hosting Thanksgiving doesn't mean you need to prepare every single dish that graces the table.
Encouraging your guests to bring an appetizer, side dish, dessert or bottle of wine will reduce costs, make for a more interesting menu and allow everyone to feel like they contributed.
DIY Your Table Decor
Elaborate table decor is a "nice to have" item — not a "need to have." Instead of spending tons of money on decorations, you can re-purpose items you already have. Use leftover pumpkin decor from Halloween, fill wicker baskets with apples and pears and/or collect fall leaves and acorns to use as decorative accents.
You can also enlist the kids in your life to help with the festivities by decorating placemats or place cards.
At first glance, ordering in or hiring a caterer may seem more expensive than cooking your own meal. But when you consider the time and effort (and potentially wasted leftovers) it may prove more affordable than you would think.
Many grocery stores will let you customize a take-home meal, so if your family loves sweet potatoes but hates mashed you can chose only what you know everyone will enjoy. You may also find it makes sense to order in if you're hosting a smaller crowd. For example, Boston Market offers a complete turkey-to-pie family deal that serves 4-6 people for $99.99 (or about $16.50 a person).
Sometimes, the stress-free experience of dining at a restaurant for a holiday is worth the extra cost. Restaurants that let you order an entree and share sides are often the way to go to make dining out more affordable. Plus, most offer children's menus, so you won't have to pay as much for the smaller eater.
With enough savory food you'll likely be stuffed by the time dessert rolls around, so don't be afraid to just order a slice or two of pie for sharing.
Don't stress about money this Thanksgiving season. With some advanced planning you'll be able to create the perfect Thanksgiving dinner for your family and friends — and you may just have a little cash left over for holiday gifts.
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Samantha Lande and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this