The best part about Thanksgiving is the time we get to spend with friends or family. The second best part is definitely the food. During this special time we all gather together for a colossal feast that lasts the entire day. This is a huge feat to manage if you are the person planning the meals. The cook will usually work for up to ten hours to produce a meal that’s gone in twenty minutes. While this is a strain on our backs and our time, it can completely drain your wallet if you’re not careful.
Here are some money saving tips to help you plan a perfect holiday meal!
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! This is seriously something you should and have to get pumped up about. It is a lot of hard work to plan an entire meal for a couple of days but it’s worth it. Plan a budget and stick to it. Use coupons and adapt your meals to the specials going on at the store.
Use cash, not credit. By using cash you provide yourself with a set amount that you will budget on the meals. By doing this you can avoid making impulsive purchases and save your money for the things you actually need.
Freeze ahead of time. This may seem odd but your freezer can be your best friend during the holidays. If you find meat on sale a month in advance, go ahead and buy it! When you get home put that guy in the freezer and save money you would have lost had you bought it a week before thanksgiving when they bump the prices up. Fresh beef, lamb, and pork will last 4-6 months in the freezer. A turkey will last a whopping 7-9 months in the freezer.
Reuse the leftovers. It seems like during thanksgiving there is an abundance of food everywhere. To save some money, use your freezer to save leftovers. This is especially helpful when you’re going to more than one Thanksgiving feast. You can throw a cake in the freezer and take it out a couple days later to bring as your contribution to your in-laws Thanksgiving. It will be just as fresh and you will be able to enjoy your holiday instead of slaving in the kitchen.
Don’t pay for convenience. It will take some extra planning but you will save a bundle of money if you avoid paying for convenience. Things that are precut, prewashed, or prepackaged tend to cost more than the normal items that are not prepared. For a little extra work you can save a lot of money.
Ask for help! Don’t be too prideful to ask someone to bring a casserole or dessert. It usually makes the individual happier that they were asked to help and it will also save you time and money. You can even enlist your kids to help you decorate and/or clean up around the house.
Thanksgiving is about being thankful and spending time with your family and friends. Don’t let it become a burden and stressful time for you! Plan to save money this Thanksgiving and be worry free doing things and spending time with people that make you happy.