Tips to Save Money & Promote Health with Your Thanksgiving Dinner

The cost of food is rising, which can make your Thanksgiving dinner costly. It’s also easy to overeat with a large holiday meal. Here are some money saving tips and ways to make your favorite Thanksgiving menu items healthier:

Keep it simple. How many side dishes do you serve? Do you serve more than one meat at your Thanksgiving meal? Choose foods that appeal to everyone, but keep it simple choose one meat, one starchy vegetable (mashed potatoes OR sweet potatoes), and one green vegetable. Doing so will help you save money and help you to eat less.

Allow others to contribute their favorite dish. Many people have favorite recipe traditions. Let them share their favorites at your Thanksgiving get together. Or if they don’t have the time or ability to prepare a recipe have them ease the expense by having them contribute store bought rolls, dessert, or their favorite beverage.

Simplify your recipes. Not all dishes need to be fancy. Instead of having a rich green bean casserole, try fresh or frozen green beans with a small amount of olive oil. Prepare a fruit salad with canned or seasonal fruit instead of a fruit salad with whipped topping or sweetened condensed milk. This will save you money and calories while decreasing the fat.

Watch for sales. Many common Thanksgiving foods are put on sale in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day. Plan ahead, so that you can take advantage of these sales and spread the cost out over the month. Also when there is a good buy you can purchase extra of the non-perishable sale items to store and use throughout the year. Some good items to keep on hand to use in favorite recipes throughout the year include fresh cranberries, canned pumpkin, turkey, and brown sugar.

Know how many people are attending dinner. Make an appropriate amount of food for the number of people attending, so that you don’t end up with too much leftover food or needlessly spending too much money. If you do make extra food, be sure you have a plan for these leftovers.

Source: https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/wellness/tag/thanksgiving-food/

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