Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner – Trim the Budget without Forfeiting Taste

Thanksgiving DinnerWhat’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving? For some people it is spending time with family and friends. For others it is remembering how blessed we really are; no matter what trials we endure there is always something to be thankful for. For some folks, however, the absolute best part of Thanksgiving is the traditional turkey dinner.

You know the dinner I’m talking about: the one with all of the fixings. A traditional turkey dinner includes a gorgeous baked turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, rolls, candied yams, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. While your family may have its own version of this dinner, you can’t argue that it’s an important part of your family’s celebration.

Even on a tight budget, you can provide the ideal Thanksgiving dinner for your family. You already know how to cut corners in your day-to-day grocery shopping. You may even be an expert at it by now. The last thing you want to do, however, is skimp on things that will make your dinner a less tasteful version of the real thing. Follow these tips to keep your turkey dinner within a reasonable budget without sacrificing this great meal.

Shop ahead of time.
This means that you will have to have your menu planned ahead of time. This probably isn’t a problem at Thanksgiving, however, since you prepare the same meal every year. Shopping ahead for non-perishable components of your meal will allow you to take advantage of any great sales at your local grocery store. Canned vegetables and stuffing mix will last quite awhile in your pantry stockpile.

Skip the side dishes that no one eats. As I was growing up, my mom always made green bean casserole and traditional green beans. No one ate the casserole, but she always felt like she “had” to make it. You could save money and preparation time by getting rid of the items that no one enjoys and focusing your efforts on the dishes that really contribute to your meal.

Share the load. Now, I’m sure you don’t want to farm out responsibility for baking the actual turkey. However, maybe your cousin Suzie makes a mean dish of mashed potatoes. Why not call her and tell her how much you’d love for your turkey to share the table with her special dish? She’ll probably be honored that you love her dish so much.

Scale back on your quantities. Of course, you want to have plenty of food for everyone. You don’t, however, need to be eating turkey for two weeks after Thanksgiving. A more appropriately-sized bird or side dishes, can help you save money without changing your menu at all

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  1. Scott says:

    I use coupons for EVERYTHING … go to coupon site before going to the grocery store… my mother is so good at this that the manager comes out to make sure things are right Also a lot of people get free samples from sample sites.

  2. AJ McCreary says:

    Great tips, I also love green bean casserole! My family has split the load, my Moms pride is making the turkey and pies, but everyone else brings one or two dishes. I think that makes everyone feel very involved and keeps things cheap for all! We also share all the leftovers, which is cool. No one ends up stuck with one thing.

  3. says:

    I love this post as we approach a holiday of excess. I will say however that when you make the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you are really making multiple dinners, lunches etc via your leftovers. So I think of it as a good investment of your time, you cook for a whole day but save time down the road. I will say that I couldn’t agree more with your tip about not making side dishes no one will eat, green bean casserole is gross!

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