5 Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Essentials

Friends and family serve each other meals during holiday meals.

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Key points

  • Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner often involves buying lots of ingredients, which can be expensive.
  • The cost of groceries goes up due to inflation, but you can still find ways to save money.
  • Compare prices, buy in bulk, and consider hosting a holiday potluck meal instead of cooking (and paying) for it all yourself.

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, you probably already know that the event can be expensive. There are tons of different food items to buy, and with grocery prices going up this year due to inflation, you credit card bill can very well be much higher than you want them to be.

The good news is, there are options to reduce the cost of the necessities you’ll need on your desk this year. Here are five techniques to help you trim Thanksgiving shopping.

1. Consider a potluck event

Just because you’re hosting for the holidays doesn’t mean you have to buy every item on the table. In fact, most of your guests will likely ask what they can bring. If you choose a potluck instead of cooking everything yourself, you can cut down on your grocery bill and maybe try some new holiday favorites your loved ones bring that you may not have thought of making your own.

2. Compare prices from several grocery stores

When you shop for Thanksgiving groceries, you don’t have to go to your regular grocery store. Many different retailers offer special sales on various holiday staples. Check the flyers, make a list of locations that offer the best prices, and consider visiting one or two stores offering the best bargains so you can minimize costs.

3. Buy in bulk if you can

Sometimes, you can get a bargain if you buy more from a warehouse club like Sam’s Club or Costco. If you are a member (or know a member who will take you shopping), you can reduce your costs by taking advantage of discount prices.

Of course, if you’re buying in bulk, the key to saving money is making sure you don’t waste anything. You can limit your bulk purchases to items on your Thanksgiving table that you also eat after the holiday. Or you can join another family. You may not need an industrial-sized can of cranberry sauce personally, but if you share a can with a few of your neighbors, you can all save.

4. Switch to frozen or canned veggies

Fresh vegetables can be expensive, but there’s no rule that says your sides have to be made with them. Frozen and canned vegetables can have the same taste – and the same nutrition – as the fresh stuff, but sometimes they cost less.

5. Take advantage of the loyalty program to earn free turkey

Finally, you should research whether there are any grocery stores in your area that offer free turkey if you make a certain number of purchases. A turkey is often one of the most expensive parts of a holiday meal, so getting one at no cost can help keep your overall costs down.

If you haven’t spent enough to meet the requirements, you can see if purchasing a store gift card counts. Not all stores will allow this, but if yours does, you can buy a gift card to reach your spending limit and then use that gift card to buy your groceries throughout the year.

By following these five simple tips, hopefully you can host a great event without spending more than you feel like it. That is definitely something to be thankful for.

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