November 12, 2019 Francesca Sacco Thanksgiving Tips to Help you Save Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re hosting this year, don’t panic! There are plenty of tips and tricks to help you prepare while saving time and money. Plan your menu. Taking the time to plan your menu before you go shopping helps eliminate unnecessary purchases. When it comes to the menu, it’s OK to keep things simple. Stick to classic dishes that people love. Planning the menu is also the perfect opportunity to take stock of the items you already have in your pantry. Utilize what you have before buying new. You may be surprised to find how many Thanksgiving ingredients you already have in stock! If you can, cook from scratch where it makes the most sense. Buying premade items can be easier, but it can end up costing you more in the long run. You can cut the cost of your Thanksgiving dinner by making more of your meal from scratch. But that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate premade items! In some cases, it may be more cost effective. So instead of buying fresh cranberries for your cranberry sauce, grab the canned version. The moral here, compare your options before you buy. Start stocking up! Most grocery stores spread out their holiday sales, so you can take advantage of Thanksgiving savings now. Start paying attention to the items you need and avoid the last minute rush by incorporating them into your weekly shopping. Don’t forget about your loyalty or rewards points. Start stock piling them now, and you may be able to get a free turkey or other items! Compare prices. No one will be able to tell if you used an off brand item. Compare prices and products, and if you have time, check out other area stores. You may be surprised at what you can save! Sign up for a store flyer app like Flipp that allows you to compare prices and discounts at the supermarkets in your area just by looking at your phone. Plan for leftovers. If you know you’ll have turkey left over, plan to make turkey soup or turkey sandwiches in the days following Thanksgiving. Using your leftovers will allow you to cut your food bill for the rest of the month. Get yourself a frozen turkey or no turkey at all! They taste the same as a fresh one and cost less! Remember, the flavor comes from how it’s cooked, not the price! Not a big fan of turkey? Don’t make it! There are plenty of other options like chicken, Cornish hens or ham. Plus, they’re budget friendly too! Save those receipts! Did you know there are apps that pay you to upload your receipts?! Some apps pay you per receipt, while others give you cash back when you buy certain products. Check them out: Ibotta Receipt Hog ReceiptPal Checkout51 Use those coupons! Most grocery stores accept coupons, so don’t be afraid to search through your local paper and online for deals. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish. This is an easy way to cut costs and eliminate some of the work. Just be sure to communicate so you don’t end up with all desserts. Don’t be afraid to borrow items or make your own decorations. Embrace your crafty side and create your own centerpiece or other decorations. The Dollar Store is a great place to look for cute items for less. Looking for something more natural? Go outside and collect leaves and pinecones to create your fall look. Better yet, if you know someone who isn’t doing Thanksgiving this year, ask to borrow their decorations or serving dishes.