Saving Money for Thanksgiving 2020
Quick Guide for smart Thanksgiving shopping strategy
Picture this, Thanksgiving 2019 Pre Covid. I had hosted one of my largest Thanksgiving dinners with 8 people in attendance. The biggest take away was that I spent $400 on Food! Trust me, I know it’s more than the money that counts; it’s all about family. And it was a wonderful memory! Still, after being loaded with a ton of leftovers, periodically sleeping while trying to cook, and multiple last-minute shopping trips, I know I had overspent my budget. So much I was not ready for Christmas.
After doing some research online I started to see this survey in alot of other similar articles. How much Americans planned to spend on Thanksgiving? from LendEDU. They compiled results from 1,000 Americans who planned on the celebration. The data only goes up to 2019 but you can get an idea of what’s it’s going to be like this year.
|HOLIDAY YEAR||PLANNED AMOUNT TO SPEND|
In 2019 the average American responded as spending 186.05. My $400 was way over this budget; this was my determination to save money this year. If you review their article, they have a trending increase of about $10 a year. So does that mean we are looking at, let’s say, $200 this year?
Well, there’s alot of ways this trend might be different. Many people might have fewer guests, which saves money. On the other hand, alot of people are contemplating on pre-made to order Thanksgiving. Which, in my opinion, is more costly. That leaves us to just hosting Thanksgiving the same as last year. How can we save money this Thanksgiving?
I’ve figured it out for the most part. 😊
I’m sharing what helped me be more prepared for my dinner, and yes, not overspend.
Planning and prep work
Planning for Thanksgiving should be done early. There’s alot of errors that could be addressed if the thought of in advance. For example, last year’s last-minute trips cost me more money every time I went to the store. What’s should you plan first? The guest list. Who’s coming over? Let me tell you why this is important. One you need to know how much food you need to buy. It’s not that you’re a tyrant of a host. It just gives you peace of mind. Knowing how many people can give you an idea of how many more plates or chairs you need.
Tip: Don’t go crazy and buy plates and chairs; borrow them from a relative a week before dinner. And don’t deter from disposable dinnerware; some of them actually look pretty fancy—the best part fewer dishes for you.
Create A Menu
Create a menu, then make a list. It’s a simpler process for the mind flow versus just writing down a bunch of stuff to buy. Making the menu first guarantees that you only buy the stuff you need. Write down a list of things you need for your dinner. Go through meal by meal, and list the parts and or ingredients. The next step is to check your pantry to see if you already have anything on your list. Every time I have to buy the brine for Turkey, I have it from last year. I only use it around this time of year, so it lasts me until next Thanksgiving. Lastly, keep everyone in the loop; it’s exciting! You can share a pretty menu template with your guest a week before Thanksgiving just if they are wondering what to bring.
Asking your guests to bring a dish is nothing to shy away from. Most of the time they plan on bringing something anyways so save them the time. Give them the option to bring a appetizer, dessert or drinks. This will in turn help you save more money.
Shop for Sales
Thanksgiving deals start pretty early, retailers will start doing promotions 2 to 3 weeks ahead. Pretty much as soon as Halloween is over, expect the deals to roll in. Comparison shopping is one of the biggest saving money tips. The guarantee that you getting the best price doesn’t come any better than that. My quick and fast way to run through the circulars is to use an app called Flipp. All of the store’s flyers all at once. You can sit comfortably on the couch and go through each item on your list. By clicking on the item in the flyer’s image, Flipp will save it to a shopping list. Save your list and view it when you’re in the store.
Decorating is my favorite part of the holiday. If I’m honest, I decorate Christmas on Thanksgiving. So, where do I grab decor for cheaper? I head to DollarTree or Dollar general. Last year I grabbed so much stuff and spent 30$ on decor. Dollar stores are always my first stop for decorating or party supplies. Every holiday there is a large variety, and it’s only a Dollar! At this store, I would grab the little things, like napkins, placemats, plastic cups. Dollar General is more than that in price but still extremely reasonable. I can’t ever walk by the home decor section without buying something. The stuff is so adorable, and most things range from $5 to $10. So my table cloth and centerpieces are both from Dollar general.
My Thanksgiving Turkey FYIs
I wanted to add some extra Turkey tips, as I’m calling them. I used to be afraid to cook the Turkey; I guess just nervous about the outcome. Not wanting it to be too dry or tasteless. I hope these tips help you prep and finish a great Turkey.
- Starting with a money-saving tip, which is to buy a frozen Turkey. Getting a fresh Turkey is definitely easier to manage, but a Frozen Turkey saves you an average of 25 to 30 percent.
- Most people buy a 15 or 16 pound turkey but there is a go to equation when determining the size. You want to grab a 1Ibs per guest and if you’re doing leftovers then try 1.5 Ibs per guest.
- When you buy the Turkey frozen allow 3 to 5 days for the thawing process. Place it in a roasting pan and set it in your fridge.
- Brining Turkey allows more flavoring. Adding Rosemary, Thyme, or even a Dry brine pre-made (my choice). Set your Turkey to brine for 8 to 24 hours, refrigerate overnight.
- Now it’s cooking time. To figure out how much time to bake, try this: 15 mins for every 1lb at 350° F. After its done, the turkeys’ temperature should be at 170° to 175°F if stuffed then 165° F. Rest your Turkey for 30 minutes before carving.
Smart shopping tips
Shop early or late at night
When I’m in super shopping mode, I am so focused, and being in a crowded space disrupts it. Holidays are naturally crowded in public shopping stores, so there are chances that the things you need are not available. Finding assistance is not possible, either. Shopping early allows you to shop after shelves are stocked. Plus, the employees are more readily available to help. You can take your time and enjoy the experience.
Stock up on Cans
Buying veggies and fruit in a can has always been a frugal shopping tip. Around Thanksgiving, can goods are on sale every year. Stockpile on can goods when they are on sale, plus they preserve longer. Even long enough to be ready for the next Holiday, Christmas.
Store Coupons and Promotions
I’m a true believer in coupons and the possibilities of saving more money. The newspaper coupon inserts, store coupons, and coupon sites are all in sync. They know the market is growing in the food department for Thanksgiving. I tend to see the same coupon deals across all three, and that’s how I stack my savings. Around this time of year, there are more food coupons than ever. Expect more offers and deals on food items that would normally not have earlier in the year. If you don’t use them, save them for the following month.
Serve the Essentials
Do you really need a 5 layered casserole? Not really! Extravagant recipes call for more ingredients, which equals more money and cooking time. When you’re racking your mind creating the menu, the Essentials are perfect enough. Remember our tip earlier when asking guests to BYOD (Bring your own dish). They will appreciate knowing what to contribute.
As for the menu, I have a basics scenario.
- Choose one meat (Turkey, Ham, Chicken or Prime Rib)
- 2 to 3 sides, stuffing
- cranberry sauce
- 2 desserts.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! And I will be celebrating the extra money I’m saving the year. I hope you can join me and don’t forget to share your moment. Follow me on Instagram and tag me @shekeepsthechange so I can join you on your win!