Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be a very costly venture. Here are some ideas for saving money on this year's turkey day feast. Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the family, friends and love we all share. While the day is centered around a feast, it's the togetherness that counts most. Times are hard for everyone and nobody is going to feel badly if there is less at the table this year, or if they are asked to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner. As a matter of fact, a meal prepared by many willing hands will make the day all the more special.
Get your turkey for free. Many supermarkets offer free turkeys to customers who spend a certain amount of money during a promotional period. It is usually not difficult to spend the amount needed to earn a turkey, since the shopping period lasts long enough for you to have made several of your grocery buying trips. If you earn a free turkey, use it. If you don't, chances are that one of your guests is eligible for one. And since she is not cooking Thanksgiving dinner, she will probably be happy to donate it to your gathering. Ask around.
Clip your coupons and search the ads to check for when items you need are on sale. If you start early enough, you shouldn't have to pay full price for a single item on your Thanksgiving dinner list.
Don't wait until you are preparing a dish on that Thursday morning to find out you forgot to pick up an ingredient. Make a check list and go through your pantry to insure you have all items. Going to the store a couple of days ahead of time for the things you missed might be annoying, but you will spend less than if you have to make a quick run to a more expensive store that is the only one open on the morning of the holiday.
When guests ask what they can bring, don't tell them to bring nothing. Turning down the offers of others to contribute something to the meal may seem like a gracious measure, but most people who offer actually want to contribute and are not just offering out of obligation.
Tell guests to bring their own doggy bag. Those disposable plastic food storage containers are wonderful for sending guests home with leftovers, but the cost can add up. Request that guests who want to go home with leftovers bring something to pack them in.
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