The preparation of the Thanksgiving meal is one of those things that can become overwhelming very, very quickly. Even if you’re an experienced cook, the volume of dishes in a typical Thanksgiving meal is far more than what we cook on any given day.
Like with much of Savvy Living, the key to a sane and enjoyable Thanksgiving is planning and preparing as much in advance as possible. That starts with deciding what you’re going to make.
Look, I’m the first one to complain about holidays getting shoved down our throat by the retail industry – family and friends have read my griping comments on Facebook below photos of Halloween displays on July 5th. However, there’s a difference between seasonal violation and advanced planning.
As I’m writing this article, Thanksgiving is just three weeks away. With just a little planning, we can use that time to save money and stress on one of the most anticipated meals of the year.
Below is a quick guide for an initial Thanksgiving plan:
- Decide what you’re going to serve from the main dish and dessert to drinks and olive platters.
- Write your grocery list based on the ingredients for the meal that need to be purchased. Money Saving Tip – before writing all the ingredients on your grocery list, check your pantry to see if you have some of the items on hand. Give yourself a chance to use what you have. This will save money, but also turn over your food inventory.
- Once you have your ingredients list, start shopping for those non-perishable items now. Here’s why it’s worth trying…
Over the next two and a half weeks, your favorite stores will have some of the best prices of the year on Thanksgiving related items. By checking their sales ads and timing your purchases, you can knock off some of the items you’ll need for that meal and spend 20% – 50% less along the way.
What I love about this tactic is that:
- You’ll reduce the need for a big and exhausting “shop” in the days before you’re going to need the energy to actually make the meal.
- You’ll spread the cost of the meal over several weeks.
- You’ll remember potential items you may have forgotten if you shopped in one fell swoop.
Go ahead and take five minutes to plan your Thanksgiving Meal and another 5 – 10 minutes to figure out what needs to be purchased and start shopping! Set yourself up to make this the most relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving in memory!