Saturday, November 14, 2009

Money Matters: The Frugal Thanksgiving

The Frugal Thanksgiving - 5 Ways to Save
By Jamie Jefferson

With all the food preparations and travel arrangements, Thanksgiving isn't cheap. Save some money on this year's festivities with the help of the following tips.

1. Watch the turkey sales.
Because the turkey is the most expensive part of the Thanksgiving meal, it makes sense to try to save money on it. Starting around Halloween, start keeping an eye on the price of turkey at your local supermarket so you know when to buy. Watch for sales, coupons or special free gifts from your supermarket. Some stores even offer a free turkey with a certain amount of groceries purchased on one trip. Take advantage of these deals to get your costs under $2 per pound.

2. Carefully weigh made-from-scratch foods against convenience foods.
It's a well-known fact that most convenience foods (canned, pre-packaged foods) are more expensive than foods that you can make from scratch. The biggest problem most people have with making dishes from scratch is the recipes and the prep time. Fortunately, there are hundreds of resources online that can teach you everything from making perfect mashed potatoes to making your own cranberry sauce. You can also make several items ahead of time, such as green bean casserole, and heat them up on the big day.

3. Decide on one "splurge" item.
If you're making everything from scratch, you might be too tired to enjoy the meal. Do yourself a favor and look for a good deal on an important store bought item, besides the turkey. Pie, cranberry sauce or stuffing are all good choices to help relieve some of the pressure off the cooking without breaking the bank.

4. Have everyone pitch in.
Just because you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner doesn't mean that you have to be responsible for the entire cost of the meal. Having a Thanksgiving potluck is very customary these days. Assign each person or family group something to bring and then concentrate your energy and your budget on the turkey.

5. Don't forget the train or bus line.
If you're traveling a distance to see family for Thanksgiving, driving may not be your best option. With gas prices still hovering around $3/gallon, you may be able to find a better deal on the train or bus line. Calculate how many miles are between your home and your destination. Then figure out how many miles to the gallon your car gets, and how much the price of gas is per gallon. Compare this figure to the local bus or train line to see if you can get a good deal with public transportation. As an added benefit, you'll have time to relax on you trip instead of fighting with traffic.

With planning, a new perspective and some research, you can spend a lot less this Thanksgiving. Look into cooking items from scratch and plan your travel expenses wisely to save the most money.

Jamie Jefferson writes for and where you'll find wine discounts and coupons, as well as free printable grocery coupons.

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1 comment:

Madame: The Journey said...

this very resourceful, thanks for sharing!