10 Tips to Save on Groceries for Thanksgiving

Nov 20, 2017Reading Time: 4 min

When thinking about Thanksgiving Day, you can almost taste the turkey and stuffing. It’s a holiday steeped in gatherings of loved ones, football, and delicious foods. Of course, you don’t have to break the bank to create the perfect Thanksgiving meal for your guests. Try these 10 tips to help you save big on your Thanksgiving grocery load up.

Buy in Bulk

For non-perishable items, head to a warehouse retailer, such as Costco or Sam’s Club. By purchasing items in bulk, you can save on the price for each can of corn or paper plate.

Choose Generic Brands

You want a fancy, good-tasting meal. However, you don’t have to purchase name brand items to get great-tasting foods. Stick to generic brands to save big at the grocery store.

Create Food from Scratch

It might save you a lot of time to purchase pies, but it’s not going to save you money. Making certain foods from scratch can reduce the money you spend. You can make homemade gravy for a few cents. You can also cheaply make homemade mashed potatoes. Peruse online for recipes you can make to help save money on some of the foods on your Thanksgiving menu. 

Host a Potluck

Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to make everything on your own. If you’re inviting friends and family over for your feast, ask them to bring a side dish with them. Find out what they like to make, or just assign them a dish to make sure that no one brings the same thing.

Pick a Frozen Turkey

Turkey is the headliner of the meal. It’s also the most expensive thing to purchase. One way to save on turkey is to purchase a frozen one. These tend to be significantly cheaper than fresh ones. As a bonus, you can purchase your frozen turkey early in the month and keep it in your freezer until you’re ready to cook it.

Pay Attention to Sales

Not every item will be on sale the week of Thanksgiving. In fact, most grocery stores will offer discounts on a couple Thanksgiving foods each week in November. Watch out for these sales and start buying things early, so you can get the best deals throughout the month.

Purchase Smaller Plates

To reduce the amount of food you need to feed everyone, try buying smaller plates. This limits the amount of food that everyone can get for each serving. That way, there isn’t as much food waste, too.

Rethink the Menu

You don’t have to create a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fix-ins to make it great. In fact, there might be a few sides that you don’t even like. If nobody tends to eat green bean casserole, don’t make it.

Also, consider skipping the appetizers and simplifying the recipes. Regular mashed potatoes are a perfectly acceptable alternative to your gourmet garlic and mushroom mashed potatoes. It’s also going to be cheaper and less time-consuming to make.

Use Your Leftovers

To save money, you don’t have to make so much food that you have leftovers. However, if you decide to make more, you can save by planning meals with your leftovers. Think about what meals you could make in the days following Thanksgiving to save on the other groceries you need to feed your family.

Watch for Grocery Promotions

Many grocery store chains offer promotions around Thanksgiving, giving away free turkeys. To receive the voucher for a free turkey, you typically need to spend a certain amount of money at the store. Go to your favorite grocery store and ask an associate for details.

On top of these tips, you can save money through the usual money-saving tips for groceries. Some of these include enrolling in the store’s savings programs, creating a grocery list and sticking to it, using coupons for things you need, perusing circulars to watch for deals, and relying on grocery apps to save money.

What other tips do you use to save money on your Thanksgiving feast? Share your best tips in the comments below.