By: Charlestien Harris
If you’re hosting large, lively Thanksgiving dinners, this article is tailored just for you! Being financially responsible for preparing that grand meal can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t consider some key factors when entertaining a large group.
I hope the tips listed below will help you be better prepared for the expenses of creating a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner for your family and friends.
Plan your menu early: This year, planning ahead is crucial due to the short supply of ingredients. With many shortages, having multiple backup plans for necessary substitutions is essential.
Take inventory of your ingredients: Avoid repurchasing items you already have by making a shopping list (and checking it twice!) before heading to the store. This not only helps you stay within your budget but also ensures you don’t overlook what’s already in your kitchen.
Cook from your freezer: Treasure hunting for frozen food can be both fun and cost-effective. Freezing is an excellent way to preserve food, saving time and money. Check storage dates for safety and ingredient quality.
Get an accurate guest count early: Knowing how many guests to expect helps you save money on meal preparation. It guides the quantity of each dish you need to prepare and prevents overspending on ingredients.
Shop early and take advantage of sales: While you may have missed the optimal shopping window, scan newspapers and special inserts for last-minute sales and holiday specials. Coupon clipping is also an option to consider.
Make it a potluck affair: Share the cooking responsibilities by encouraging family members to bring a dish. It adds variety to the meal and reduces your overall preparation costs.
Save on produce with local farmer’s markets: Explore farmers’ markets for competitively priced fresh produce, which is often more affordable than mainstream grocery stores.
Try a main meat alternative: Consider alternatives to the traditional turkey, such as grilled turkey tenderloin or Cornish game hens, which can be budget-friendly and quicker to cook.
Use fine China: Personalize your Thanksgiving by using your own dishes instead of disposable plates. It’s economical, adds a personal touch, and creates meaningful memories.
Don’t pay more for convenience: Resist paying extra for pre-cut items. For instance, instead of buying pre-cut baby carrots, carve large carrots into petite portions yourself. It can become a quality time moment with family members.
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and creating cherished memories. While it’s a day full of food, fun, and fellowship, being mindful of your holiday spending is also important.
For more information on this and other financial topics, you can email me at Charlestien.Harris@banksouthern.com or call me at 662-624-5776.
Until next week – stay financially fit!
Charlestien Harris is a financial contributor to DeSoto County News. She is a financial expert with Southern Bancorp Community Partners whose articles are seen in a number of publications around the region.