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Preparing for Thanksgiving - Planning Ahead to Save Money

Updated on October 30, 2007

Thanksgiving is a very big holiday here in the United States. It doesn't happen until the end of November, however planning ahead for this holiday will certainly save you money and stress. If you are planning on hosting Thanksgiving at your home this year now is the time to start preparing.

The first thing you should do is figure out what you are serving for Thanksgiving dinner and how many people are coming. Once you have your list together it is time to start watching the grocery sales. By having your menu planned out ahead of time, you can purchase the items you need a little each week. This way you can purchase what you need at the lowest prices and you can spread out the extra purchases over a few weeks, instead of all at once right before Thanksgiving.

Speaking of sale items now is the time to stock up on great sales. Turkey prices are typically at their lowest the weeks before Thanksgiving. If you know you will have another one at Christmas, you should purchase it now if you have the freezer space. You should think along these same lines for pantry items as well. Stuffing is usually on great sales around this time, as well as chicken broth, canned vegetables, baking items and many other seasonal foods. Now is the best time to purchase these items. Try to combine great sales with coupons to make the purchases even better. Buy as much as you think you will use before the items expire - and of course that you have the money for.

When figuring out how large of a turkey to buy, you should figure on one pound per person. Each person probably won't eat a whole pound, however this will allow for the weight of the bones and the giblets. If you want leftovers (who doesn't?) add a few pounds to the total you just came up with.

As you purchase the ingredients over these few weeks you should store these items together. Have a spot in your pantry and a spot in your freezer for these things and when it is time to start cooking everything should be in one spot. This will also make it easy to check and make sure you have everything on your list.

What about decorations? Shop the after Halloween sales to see if they have anything that might work for Thanksgiving. The colors are similar and you could find tablecloths and paper products at a discount. What about using nature for decorations? Cut some leafless branches off and arrange them in a flower vase. Red branches especially are very attraction in the winter. A centerpiece dish could be filled with pinecones, berries and acorns.

Planning ahead for a big holiday will make the big day less stressful for everyone. Purchasing the items you need over a few weeks at their lowest sale prices will definitely save you money. Combining the two should make for a very restful holiday. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


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    • hasandaas profile image


      9 years ago from florida

      Goog tips, what are some good sides to serve with turkey, i geuss im looking for other than the norm. for ex we commonly make stuffing,sweet patatoe,yams, mabey a secret recipe or something you may have created..if any, let me know please..thanks!!

    • Michele Engholm profile image

      Michele Engholm 

      10 years ago from Hutchinson

      Great hub Jennifer. I was actually just thinking yesterday that I better start my planning. This is a huge help. Thanks!!


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