Serve a Delicious Holiday Meal without Breaking the Bank
When the weather starts to turn cool and the leaves change it is a sign that summer has come to an end. While this may be saddening, it is also a sign that the holidays are approaching! The holidays are a time to spend with the ones you love but, for many people, they can also be a source of stress both on your mental wellbeing and your pocketbook. Keep reading to learn some tips for serving up delicious holiday meals without breaking the bank.
Simple Tips to Save Money on Holiday Meals
You don’t have to spend a fortune to prepare a delicious holiday meal – if you are smart, you can serve your family a wonderful dinner without dipping into your savings. Follow these simple tips to save money on holiday meals.
- Plan your menu ahead of time. Start planning your holiday menu several weeks out and make a shopping list of everything you are going to need. Then, simply keep an eye on weekly circulars from your local grocery stores and buy the items you need when they go on sale. You can save even more money by designing your menu around seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and squash.
- Stock up early on non-perishables. A can of creamed corn may only cost you fifty cents if you buy the store brand but, as the holidays get closer, stores tend to sell out of staples like this. If you wait too long to do your shopping you could be forced to buy more expensive products – stock up early on store-brand non-perishables to avoid price increases later.
- Take advantage of in-store deals. Most grocery stores offer sales and promotions around the holidays, so shop around for the best deals to save money. It is also fairly common for stores to offer free turkeys to their customers who spend a certain amount in their store during the weeks leading up to the holiday. If a grocery store near you offers this deal, try to do most of your shopping there (while still keeping an eye out for sales) to get a free turkey.
- Do as much baking from scratch as you can. Your pantry is probably already stocked with baking essentials like flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Buying these items in bulk as they go on sale and then doing your own holiday baking from scratch can save you a lot of money. Using pantry staples, for example, you can make your own cake mix for less than fifty cents whereas a box of cake mix at the store will cost you $1 or $2.
- Don’t waste money on multiples. If you are planning on making multiple versions of certain dishes to accommodate for picky eaters, skip it this year. Rather than making three different stuffings or two different pies, settle on just one option to save yourself some money – it will also save you some valuable time! If a member of your family wants something other than what you are planning to prepare, suggest that they bring the item themselves.
- Turn your holiday meal into a potluck. If you find yourself offering to host a holiday meal for all of your extended family, don’t feel like you have to shoulder the financial burden alone. Turning your holiday meal into a holiday potluck can save you a boatload of cash as everyone who attends the dinner brings a dish of their own to contribute.
By following the simple tips listed above you can cut costs on your holiday meals without sacrificing quality. This will help to make sure that your holidays are as merry as possible for you and the whole family – and your wallet will be happy too!