It seems as though feasting and the holidays go hand in hand. The holidays just don’t seem complete without a large family dinner, complete with all of your favorite fixings. But how do you enjoy such a treat if you are working on a tight budget? Well the truth is, there are still some tricks to help you save money and dine for less. Take a look below at how to save on your holiday dinner while still enjoying all of the foods you love!
How to Save on Your Holiday Dinner
1. Plan ahead.
If you wait until the last minute to plan your holiday dinner, you will surely spend more. When you are hurried, you tend to not price match, use coupons, or search for sales. Instead, you will be rushed to grab the first items you see. Instead, about two-three weeks prior, sit down and create a menu of items you would like to buy, and then execute your shopping trip 5-7 days prior.
2. Take advantage of the monthly sales.
There are quite a few items known to be at their lowest prices during the holiday months. Some of these items include canned goods, baking products, and fresh produce such as squash and cranberries. These are the items you want to stock up on at their rock bottom prices and plan your menus and recipes around.
3. Keep your eyes peeled for rare coupons.
During the holidays you are sure to see some rare coupons, including those for cents off meat and seafood purchases. Snag these when you see them. Also be sure to save any Try Me Free offers you run across, rebate forms, gift with purchase forms, or any other savings opportunities that come your way. Some printable coupon options include Coupons.com, Smartsource, and RedPlum. Companies like spoiling their customers during the holidays with these savings, so take advantage of them.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you have quite a few family members coming to dine, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even those working on a tight budget can afford to bring a $2 can of pumpkin pie filling, or a $2 bag of rolls. Give each person an inexpensive ingredient or side item they can be in charge of so some of the financial burden comes off of you.
5. Focus on inexpensive fillers.
Some side dishes are quite filling and only cost pennies per serving. Great examples of these would be bread items and potatoes. You can buy boxed corn bread for around 0.40 cents a box, and you can buy boxed or real potatoes for mashed potatoes for less than a few dollars. These are tasty, filling sides that don’t cost much and everyone enjoys.
6. Enjoy simple sweet treats.
Don’t go overboard with desserts since people are usually full by then. Dollar stores carry ready made pie crusts as well as pie filling for just $1 each. Make a few simple pies and buy a gallon of ice cream and you have the perfect sweet treat to finish your meal.
This Easy and Inexpensive Pumpkin Dip is also a fun option.
7. Don’t forget the leftovers.
Focus on what foods at dinner can also double as great leftovers later. For example if you find a great deal on turkey, buy a huge one! Leftovers can be used for days in stews and sandwiches. If you find a great deal on sweet potatoes, buy a bunch. They can be mashed, candied, used in stews, or even turned into pie filling. Stock up on sale items and find creative ways to use them the days following.
See how easy it can be to save on your holiday dinner? Give these simple tips a try and you can create a feast that not only your family will love, but so will your budget.
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