7 Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is the holiday for appreciating fine wines and good food with family and friends. But overindulging can be pricey.

This holiday, count your blessings and your pennies with these quick and easy tips to save.

1. Party

First, decide what kind of event you’re going to have. If you’re hosting a party, have a potluck. Tell your guests to bring something to share.

2. Menu

Create a budget and decide what’s important. No one ever eats the cranberry sauce? Leave it off the menu and save both time and money. Instead of offering guests three variations of dessert, just pick one. Planning out the menu by person is expensive.

3. Food

Shop around and compare prices. Different stores have different deals. Big box discount stores like Target and Walmart offer large amounts of fresh food at discount prices. Target has a deal right now for 0.99 cent 6-oz boxes of Kraft Stove Top Stuffing in different flavors, compared with $1.93 at most Publix stores.

And don’t wait until a week before Thanksgiving to start shopping.

4. Free or discounted turkey

Look for free turkey promotions. Many large grocery store chains across the U.S. offer free birds and other dinner items if you spend over a certain amount. The deals can be found in weekly coupon circulars. Follow TheKrazyCouponLady.com for a running list of stores. Also if you are not making any of the food, share this info with your host!

5. Spices

Experiment with spices from your kitchen that you would normally overlook. Also skip the bottled spices, since you’re mostly just paying for the glass jar. “You’ll find identical spices in bags for as much as 75% less,” says Mike Catania, founder and chief technology officer of PromotionCode.org, a coupon website.

6. Wine

Whole Foods has gotten a bum rap as the leader in “whole paycheck” spending. But it has a surprisingly affordable selection of wine and beer deals if you buy in bulk, including a 10% case discount when you purchase six or more bottles.

7. Decorations

Get crafty by making your own Thanksgiving decorations. Dollar stores across the U.S. have the best prices on supplies. If you want an organic look, use autumn leaves and pinecones from your yard to create centerpieces. Once the holiday is over just throw them away without the hassle of storing them for next year.

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