Families who have especially large holiday gatherings feel the most financial strain when it comes to preparation for a great meal. Taking into consideration that those in your family might have different tastes is an important aspect of getting ready for this day. Here are some tips to help trim the budget without sacrificing your delicious dinner.
Determine your menu Find out what your guests’ food preferences are. Many people are more interested in eating side dishes (read: stuffing!). While a turkey is a common staple to most Thanksgiving meals, consider other protein options such as ham or chicken – which are less expensive. Also, look for generic ingredients for your dinner instead of brand names.
Consider a casserole Casseroles cost much less than standard Thanksgiving items. For example, green bean casserole is inexpensive, easy to make and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Another tip: buy your ingredients early and freeze them before Thanksgiving. This is a good strategy because the costs associated with Thanksgiving dishes tend to increase once the holiday comes closer. You save money by buying early, and will be prepared and not in a rushing looking for common items that may be out of stock closer to the dinner
Have the guest BYOS It is not out of line to require your guests to bring their own something. Be specific about the things you would like your guests to bring and take the guesswork out of it for them. Save money and time this way. This will free up the time you need to prepare the foods you are serving properly – probably resulting in a better meal. Most friends would love to bring something – it gives them a sense of satisfaction to contribute.