5 Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Essentials

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  • Preparing a Thanksgiving dinner often involves buying lots of ingredients, which can be expensive.
  • Grocery costs are up due to inflation, but you can still find ways to save money. 
  • Compare prices, buy in bulk, and consider holding a potluck holiday meal rather than cooking (and paying for) all of it yourself. 

You can have an amazing holiday without busting your budget.

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, you probably already know the event can be an expensive one. There's tons of different food items to buy, and with grocery prices up this year due to inflation, your credit card bills could very well end up much higher than you'd like them to be.

The good news is, there are options to reduce the cost of essentials you need on your table this year. Here are five techniques to help slash your Thanksgiving spending

1. Consider a potluck event

Just because you are hosting for the holidays doesn't mean you need to buy every item on the table. In fact, most of your guests will likely ask what they can bring. If you opt for a potluck instead of cooking everything yourself, you can slash your grocery bill and perhaps try some new holiday favorites your loved ones bring that you might not have thought of making yourself.

2. Compare prices from several grocery stores

When you're shopping for Thanksgiving groceries, you don't necessarily need to go to your usual grocery store. Many different retailers offer special sales on various holiday staples. Check out the flyers, make a list of which locations are offering the best prices, and consider visiting one or two stores offering the best bargains so you can minimize costs. 

3. Buy in bulk if you can

Sometimes, you can get a bargain if you buy in bulk from a warehouse club like Sam's Club or Costco. If you're a member (or know a member who will take you shopping), you could reduce your expenses by taking advantage of discount prices.

Of course, if you're buying in bulk, the key to actually saving money is to make sure you aren't wasting anything. You could limit your bulk purchases to the items on your Thanksgiving table that you'll also eat after the holidays are over. Or you could team up with other families. You might not need an industrial-sized can of cranberry sauce personally, but if you split the can with several of your neighbors, you could all save. 

4. Switch to frozen or canned veggies

Fresh veggies can be expensive, but there's no rule that says your sides have to be made with them. Frozen and canned vegetables can have the same great taste -- and the same nutrients -- as fresh items, but can sometimes come at a fraction of the cost. 

5. Take advantage of loyalty programs to earn a free turkey 

Finally, you should research whether there are any grocery stores in your area that offer a free turkey if you make a certain amount of purchases. Turkeys are often one of the most expensive parts of the holiday meal so getting one at no cost could help you keep your overall expenses down. 

If you haven't yet spent enough to meet the requirements, you can see if buying store gift cards counts. Not all stores will allow this, but if yours does, you could buy a gift card to hit your spending limit and then just use that gift card to buy your groceries throughout the year.

By following these five simple tips, hopefully you can host a great event without spending more cash than you're comfortable with. That would definitely be something to be thankful for. 

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