One of the oldest truly American holidays is closing in on us fast – Thanksgiving, happening on the 27th of November in 2014. This is a time when families gather around the table, eat traditional meals and express their gratitude for this year’s “harvest” of blessings and good things. A Thanksgiving meal can be a bit pricey, though, and is followed by the Christmas shopping season that can pressure our budget even more. Here are some tips that might help you save on the Thanksgiving dinner, and maybe help you through Christmas as well.
1. Start buying in advance
Some of the ingredients needed for a great Thanksgiving dinner are best bought fresh, but others can sit in the freezer for weeks without losing their best attributes. Besides, the things bought early will take some pressure off your wallet during the days preceding the holiday itself.
2. Make a list, check it twice
The best way to avoid overspending when shopping for the Thanksgiving dinner is to carefully plan what and how much of it you will put on the table, and buy exactly as much as you need of each ingredient. Be sure to stick to your list when doing the shopping.
3. Frozen turkey is as good as a fresh one
As UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver once said, frozen foods are just as good as fresh ones, but often involve less work, less fuss and a much lower price. In case of the turkey – a must eat traditional meat during Thanksgiving – choosing frozen might mean savings of up to 30%. Be sure to choose a turkey of the right size – calculate with about 1 pound for each person sitting around the table, or slightly more, if you want to make sure.
4. Make your own decorations
You would be surprised how much you can save on Thanksgiving decorations if you just look around your back yard, the nearby park or other places you frequently pass through. Branches, pine cones, leaves can be combined with things you have around the house – pieces of board or cloth – and, with a bit of creativity, you can create your natural, disposable and biodegradable decorations for a fraction of the cost of buying one at your local supermarket.
5. Don’t forget to relax
Preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner, especially when the number of people you expect to sit around the table is three or four times bigger than usual, can be a very stressful activity. Take time to relax, take a walk, read a book, or do anything else you desire to take your mind off your preparation every once in a while. You would be surprised how much you can save on painkillers with a break sneaked in at the right time.