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Thanksgiving Day Feast on the Cheap

Thanksgiving Day Feast on the Cheap

The idea of cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for a veritable army of family members is bound to be causing some worry during these tough economic times.  What if you just can’t afford it this year?  Planning a potluck dinner where all of the guests bring an assigned dish, henceforth splitting the grocery bill is a great way to save this year. 

But what if you have relatives coming from out of town or your own brood at home is big enough to send you into the red?  A recent article from Epicurious.com offers some great tips on how to save on your Thanksgiving dinner this year.  If you can follow these tips, you can make a meal for 8 people for well under $100.

One helpful tip is to purchase produce that is in season.  Veggies like asparagus and artichokes will be off limits, since they are out of season and likely to be overpriced.  Also, buying a bunch of fresh herbs rather than dried and jarred herbs can save you a good deal. 

When it comes to the bird, it is best to go with supermarket brand turkey.  You can still find a free-range or organic turkey and it will cost loads less than a more prestigious brand.

Another tip offered from Epicurious is to feel free to bend the rules when you are following a recipe.  If your recipe calls for three different kinds of herbs, don’t be afraid to just choose one.  Substituting water for canned stock in a soup works, as well as using flour and water to thicken gravy rather than making turkey stock.

No matter how much you spend this year on your Thanksgiving dinner, we all know what really matters is the togetherness we’ll share with friends and family.  The most memorable moments on holidays usually have little to do with the food on the table but rather the people sitting at it.

For a complete list of Epicurious’s money saving tips or to check out the menu for the under $100 Thanksgiving meal you can visit: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/thanksgiving/budgetmenu

What do you think of the tips listed above to help you save on your Thanksgiving meal this year?

Do you have anything special you will be doing this Thanksgiving as a way to cut down on costs?
 

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  • mandyspeaking By mandyspeaking
    11.19.08  

    great tips thanks!

  • MrsWsKitchen By MrsWsKitchen
    11.19.08  

    My sister-in-law's office always provides our turkey. I bought all the bread for my stuffing this year on day-old markdown. I use better-than-bullion instead of broth for gravy. Instead of several veg sides, we have a big green salad with a few slices of crumbled bacon, chopped apple, and a handful of dried cran or raisins. A vinaigrette of balsamic, maple syrup and olive oil (equal portions, plus salt and pepper) give it that seasonal something. My mother brings pies, however if I had to do dessert myself, I would probably make a simple apple-dried cranberry galette and a certain spiced pumpkin pudding I make (just instant vanilla pudding mix with added canned pumpkin and spices) topped with whipped cream and cinnamon.

  • MSauerbrei By MSauerbrei
    11.19.08  

    Great article. This is my first Thanksgiving as Hostess and I'm having 12 people over. I keep forgetting that the most important thing is the people you're with and not how many side dishes I can fit on the table.

  • thecouponsista By thecouponsista
    11.19.08  

    Good article full of useful tips. Thanks!

  • jojostarbuck By jojostarbuck
    11.19.08  

    I loved this article. Thanks for pointing it out to us in these turbulent times.

  • jamiesmom By jamiesmom
    11.19.08  

    I read the article but really, who in their right mind would spend $50 on a pecan pie? I don't see spending $15 on ingredients instead of $50 on a premade as a money saving tip. Wal-mart sells premade pecan pies for ~$5 every day... And $2 a lb for a turkey seems steep too. I bought a butterball for .89 cents a lb. Maybe I'm just cheap though...

  • jerilgm By jerilgm
    11.20.08  

    Do people really eat brussel sprouts? I've seen them listed on several Thanksgiving day menus but don't know anyone who eats them. Maybe it's just us midwesterners that avoid brussel sprouts at all costs.

  • am_i_lost By am_i_lost
    11.20.08  

    I thought that the grocery prices I my area were high but they are "out of this world" where ever they researched to do this artical! I bought turkey for .79/ lb and you can by or make pies and dessersts for $5 or less. The same goes for almost all of the side dishes and cassaroles I make. Things don't have to be high priced or fancy; just taste good and be family favorites! Thats what matters in my house!!!

  • TamaraSeward By TamaraSeward
    11.20.08  

    We started getting Safeway meals when we got together. A good price for what you get, pretty much everything including a pumpkin pie. Since my mom will be in the hospital this year my brother & I are getting together with are significant others & making our "Thanksgiving" dinner this Sunday. So it's my first year buying a turkey. We awill be getting it tonight. Hope I find a good deal. LOL!

  • fawn80 By fawn80
    11.20.08  

    I'm so glad I found this article. I'm not doing my Thanksgiving dinner until Saturday, and these tips will help a lot! The twist is I'm not asking anyone to bring food - instead they are helping hang Christmas Decorations!

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