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Thanksgivings Holiday Hacks: Joy and Money

Ever wonder how to save money for thanksgiving dinner? Want to take out the stress and the burnt meal?  Let us show you these 5 ways to save you time and money this quarantine thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is a time to say cheers and celebrate with those who are closest to you.  You can start new traditions with your immediate family.  Last thanksgiving, I was off from the grocery store thankful my manager let a 8 months pregnant lady off the busiest day of the year.  I cooked a thanksgiving meal for my husband.  Just the two of us.  Know matter if you thanksgiving is just you, your spouse, and your kids that is okay!  Enjoy the lazy day with your family and eat a lot at a discount.

Start Searching the Ads Weeks Before the Holiday

While this might seem hard to search the ads before the week of the holiday because the Ham is on sale during that week. I can share with you a little secret.  Most grocery stores start their sales earlier and earlier to help themselves be prepared for the huge holiday!  Thanksgiving is the biggest food shopping holiday and the stores want to ensure they are ready for all the sales!

Like this week at Kroger, they have their biggest discounts right now on all the side dishes.  The gravy, the baking needs, and the stuffing. They are trying to move through all the stuff early and this has always been their plan.

Do not want to step foot in a store?  That is okay.  Order a pick up order, but be sure to not order what everyone is ordering and expect to get it! You know like cranberry sauce, half and half, celery, sage, fresh thyme, molasses, etc.  

Pick Up Shoppers Read this important note:

If you are a pick up shopper, do not wait until the end of the week or the beginning of the week to place your order!  Place your order mid week!  Why? Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the slowest days, and you will most likely have a great experience.  You will receive all of your groceries plus have a fast delivery to your car.  Sunday, Monday, Friday are the worst days to place an order. You and every other planner will place their order these days, and you will probably not have a good experience. 

Do not shop the week of Thanksgiving

This could be a hard pill to swallow for some people who are meal planners, and who are on a budget like most of us.  However, if you are a planner, which I know you are because you are reading this. You meal plan every week! You have to take this as a hint to start planning early for food shopping for thanksgiving. You know you are making a pumpkin pie?  Buy pumpkin pie filling early.  You know you are making a Turkey?  Buy your sage, thyme, and all the seasoning early. 

As this article is coming out a few weeks before Thanksgiving, stores have already built their destinations for holiday.  They have built their end caps (end of aisles destinations) for holding capacity for you.  They have built their baking runs with all the necessities.  

Put a Simple Meal Plan Together

Thanksgiving Dinner does not need to be complicated.  It can be simply put together just like you do every other dinner and even on a budget.  You are a pro at it.  You do it every single week.  Do not stop here just because you are feeding a few more people.

Here is a simple tip for Thanksgiving and a menu:

Meat: Turkey or Ham

Potatoes: Mash them 😉 

Veggie: Green Beans (Make them fancy by making them into a casserole)

Side: Stuffing (get the box)

Side: Rolls (buy the ones in a bag!) Sara Lee Honey Ones all the way! 

Dessert: Pie (your favorite, of course)

Cook What You Know

A turkey can be hard to make well because I have never made one.  Make a ham.  Most hams are already precooked and all you need to do is warm it up in the oven or crock pot.  People there is no shame in using a crock pot for the holidays especially if you use it during your normal weekly meal planning.  Instapot fan? Then use an instapot to make your mashed potatoes. Did you know you could even make mashed potatoes in the microwave? Yes, you most definitely can!  Heat up your potatoes like your having a baked potato and then mash it!

You know what it will be eaten in 15 minutes anyways, so do not stress about it! 

Thanksgiving is about thankfulness, love, and coming together.

 Look up Pinterest Ideas for Easy Recipes

This is probably one of my favorite things to do.  I love to look up easy recipes on pinterest because they are endless.  Most of them are easy and if they are not.  Skip, next one!  Make a way to make your Thanksgiving easy by not overcomplicating it.

This also saves you money because you can search for recipes that you have the ingredients on hand already or even switch out an ingredient!  Yes, I have done it many times.  Like did you know you could use ripe bananas instead of butter for baking!  Bam, mic drop! You already probably knew the apple sauce instead of eggs for cookies, but still that is what I am saying!  LETS SAVE YOU MONEY!

Living tiny has taught us this hack

We have hardly any waste because we shop only what we can use for the week, so if you are like us and cannot stock up like in hack number one or hack number two by not shopping the week of.  That is okay!  Do not worry.  Thanksgiving is on a Thursday – like it always is.  Start your shopping early in the morning during that week.  You may have to use self check out, but at least you do not have to deal with all the people. The key days do not go on Sunday or Wednesday during Thanksgiving week.  We already found pumpkin pie filling on discount with a 50 cent markdown label on it.  Thank you dented can!  I think this year I want to try a pumpkin brownie swirl. Mhmm – doesn’t that sound so good?

Other articles you will enjoy:

You are used to cooking a big meal, but don’t have the family coming over?

That is awesome – do it again this year! But this year, deliver it to a neighbor that is in need of a holiday dinner too!  You could give to them by packaging the meal together for them and being their “door dash”.  Now, doesn’t that bring back the neighborly love and the reason for the season!

Enjoy a campfire on Thanksgiving and eat outside.

I understand that this is not possible for everyone in the middle of November.  Like if we lived in Nebraska, and just had that HUGE ice storm that came out of no where. Thankfully my family is all safe, but so many trees feel down from being frozen! The tree in my moms front yard almost fell on the house – yikes! I probably would not do this, but hey we live in Virginia and it is possible!  An idea for you, have a campfire and eat outside like the pilgrims used to do. What can be cooked on a campfire lots of stuff? Especially with a cast iron skillet!

Perfect thanksgiving campfire dinner: ham, potatoes, green beans, and apple cobbler

You have found one of these hacks to save you money for this thanksgiving and are going to take the stress out of it.  Hello to you!  You are a pro and there will be zero burnt meals! 

If you love this post, pin it for a friend who’s having thanksgiving at their home.

If you learned something or had an ahha moment, like it.

If you are know someone cooking thanksgiving dinner, pin it.

We went from spending over $600 a month to less than $400! And my husband eats a lot of meat! His doctor told him he needed to eat more chicken so we have even made the adjustment and still save the money! 

Check out the Meal Plan 101 to do it too!

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