7 ways to “trim” your Thanksgiving budget!

There’s nothing like the smell of a mouth-watering turkey dinner cooking in the kitchen. We are 1 week away from the big day and many of us are planning our menus.

Before you finalize your menu and shopping list, consider these 7 money savings tips:

  1. Set a budget for your meal: Review your monthly household budget. How much can you realistically afford to spend on the ingredients? Many people just walk into the store, grab items and are shocked at the total at the registers. Don’t let your meal blow a hole in your budget. Continue reading for ways to save on the meal without feeling pinched.
  2. Get organized and do your research: Plan your full menu and make a list of EVERYTHING you need. Multiple trips to the store can waste your time and gas. Read the grocery store flyers and search for BOGO (Buy One Get One) deals and note any sales on your list. Shop for ONLY the items on your list. Don’t get lured into buying other items that are not on your list. Stay strong, you can do it!
  3. Technology can help save you money: Apps! No, not appetizers…cellphone apps! Downloading coupon, sale and store apps can save you a few extra bucks!
  4. Avoid “Fancy” recipes with costly ingredients: While balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts threaded on bamboo skewers with crushed pine nuts and aged parmesan cheese sounds divine, perhaps just simple roasted brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper would please the crowd? Expensive nuts, herbs or spices can quickly inflate your food bill.
  5. Eliminate one or two dishes: Is there something you make that you could do without? Perhaps there is casserole or side dish that has lots leftover? Save the money and delete them from your menu. Things like mashed potatoes and stuffing are inexpensive when made from scratch. Offer extra portions of those items instead.
  6. Ask two family members to bring a dish: Let your family members contribute a dish to the meal. If they can’t cook, assign them drinks or a store-bought dessert.
  7. Stretch the leftovers: All the leftovers can be used to make other quick weeknight meals. Making dishes ahead and freezing them helps your family get dinner on the table fast and saves you money, too. Check out this link for lots of ideas to use up leftovers! http://www.foodnetwork.com/thanksgiving/leftovers/best-thanksgiving-leftover-recipes

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from New Dimensions Federal Credit Union!