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Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

November is in full swing and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Sometimes it may seem like the holidays are all about excess – but don’t let holiday entertaining put a major dent in your bank account! If you plan ahead and shop wisely, you can serve a beautiful and bountiful Thanksgiving meal – even on a bare bones budget.

Buy early:

The turkey will be the biggest single expense on your shopping list, and waiting until the last minute to buy it will cost you even more. Buy earlier in the month, when frozen turkeys should be very affordable. Two or three days before Thanksgiving, take your turkey out of the freezer and let it thaw in your refrigerator. 

Take careful inventory of your pantry so you don't buy unnecessary items, then do your shopping on double-coupon day.

Take advantage of the competition:

Around the holidays grocery stores compete fiercely against each other. Take advantage of it by cherry-picking the best deals from each store. You may have to hit a few stores, but it's the easiest way to get everything you need at the best price possible.

Back to basics:

Thanksgiving is no time to experiment with new recipes. You may have a hungry crowd waiting, and they'll expect traditional dishes. You really can't go wrong with a classic menu of roast turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Choosing simple recipes and making them a few days in advance will help you save money and time.

Ask for a little help:

Tell your guests it’s a potluck Thanksgiving dinner. If they know well in advance, they’ll enjoy contributing to the Thanksgiving feast. You can focus on the turkey and let your guests show off their cooking skills with appetizers, side dishes or dessert. When everyone helps out, you can put a little extra money and effort into your main course… and spend time celebrating all the things you have to be thankful for!

Article submitted by Sharon