If you’re stuck…rather, fortunate enough… to be hosting Thanskgiving dinner at your house, you don’t have to spend a fortune and you don’t need to slave in the kitchen.
Buy a Pre-Cooked Turkey Online and Save Money
Sam’s Club is selling a 10 to 12 pound pre-cooked turkey online for $29.54 plus shipping. It arrives frozen, packed and shipped in dry ice in a re-usable styrofoam box. The turkey is slow-cooked for 12 hours and vacuum wrapped.
How to Save Money on Side Items
- First of all, give yourself a break. If your friends and family expect you to prepare six or seven delicious side salads and potato casseroles so that the Thanksgiving table looks like it came from Martha Stewart’s very own kitchen, you need to associate with different people. In fact, make them bring their own dishes. Assign the appetizer, potatoes, vegetables and bread each to a different person. You’ll save money and they will feel like they’re contributing. Potluck may be old-fashioned, but it works.
- Plan dishes around sales. About a week before the holiday, check out your local supermarket’s web site. See what’s on sale. Then go to the manufacturer’s web site and check if there are any coupons to go with the sale items. Finally, do another Google search for coupons. Then, look for some free online recipes that use those same sale items.
- Buy pre-made side dishes from the grocery store deli department. You might be surprised at the time and money you save by stopping by the deli counter. They might offer a certain type of salad on sale that day. But you may have to wait until the day before Thanksgiving to take advantage of these dishes. They don’t save well.
- Check out warehouse clubs. Sam’s Club and Costco are usually packed close to the holidays. But if you get there early in the morning a couple of days before Thanksgiving, you’ll avoid the rush later in the day, plus you might get a free cup of coffee as well! Go to warehouse clubs not just for staples like cranberry dressing and pumpkin pie filling, but also for pre-made items like seafood salad and frozen cakes and other desserts. You can even find frozen appetizers that no one will know you didn’t prepare from scratch.
- Don’t forget the kids! They are the least picky of the bunch and will probably be happier with macaroni and cheese from a box, than sweet potatoe casserole and cucumber salad.
And don’t worry about being stuck with a bunch of leftovers. Follow these ideas for what to do with the rest of the turkey once the big day is over.