Despite rising costs, there are ways to save on your Thanksgiving meal
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - It looks like we’ll all be paying more this year to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, it’s going to cost just over $64 to feed a family of ten. That’s up 20% from last year. So, what can you do to save a little money? We took some tips from a gourmet chef along with some help from online food experts.
Let’s start with the big ticket item--the turkey. If you like it, go big on the bird, and you’ll save money in the long run by using the leftovers. “You make a turkey pot pie for the second night. You make turkey sandwiches for lunch,” says Jean Chatzky, CEO of HerMoney.com.
Turkey costs are 20% higher this year and will cost you around $29 for a 16-pound bird. Where you buy your turkey matters, so be sure to shop around. Walmart is offering what they’re calling “This year’s meal at last year’s prices.” That includes turkeys for under a dollar a pound, about half the national average. Aldi’s is calling it a “Thanksgiving price rewind” by matching the 2019 prices on things like stuffing, rolls, and pie.
Be sure to check out those ads online in advance before you settle. “We’re absolutely seeing more offers,” said Joanie Demer of TheKrazyCouponLady.com. “More coupons and lots of retailers trying to get ahead and lure people in to shop at their stores, promising last year’s prices or even going beyond that and promising 2019 prices in one case.”
How about the side dishes? This year, consider guests bringing their favorite side to contribute to the meal--meaning less money and work for you. “Assign the drinks, assign the desserts,” said Chatzky. “It costs each individual person a lot less and didn’t bust the budget for anybody.” Of course, of the sides you do make, you can make them from scratch to save. Pre-made sides can really add up.
Another tip experts suggest is skipping holiday trends altogether. Special things can be fun, but they can also add up quickly. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to a restaurant for an old fashioned reservation. Food prices are up the grocery store, but it’s not quite as bad for restaurant vendors. You could save money just by eating out. Don’t forget to tip!
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