The living room still needs to be vacuumed, your kids haven’t cleaned their room, and decorations are still sitting sadly in the box rather than on the table. Face it: Thanksgiving is a stressful food fest. Despite your best planning, it’s an annual last-minute scramble to get the event on its feet.
At Raccoon Valley Bank, we want to help take some of the stress out of the Big Meal with these money-saving food hacks. Your family and blood pressure will thank you.
Spread the wealth: Many hands make light work – and full wallets. If you’re playing “Hostess with the Mostest,” feel free to supply that centerpiece turkey. However, ask your guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Not only does this free up time that you or loved ones would have spent slaving away in the kitchen, but it lets everyone do one thing really well rather than creating an entire sub-par spread alone. If you have a competitive family, stoke the friendly fire by making members vote on the Dish of the Year, and add the recipe to an on-going family favorites recipe list.
Strategize your spending: Pull out your scissors and start clipping coupons sooner rather than later. The week before Thanksgiving is packed with last-minute sales on smaller items like canned goods and bread, but that draw for smaller sales means big-ticket items have been marked up in price. Pre-order your turkey at the beginning of the month, or buy it two weeks in advance and stash it in your freezer, and load your shopping cart with all the trimmings when they go on sale. (But remember the thawing rule of thumb: one day for every five pounds of turkey!)
Go generic: With so many flavors and sights and aromas filling your table, Aunt Ethel won’t notice if you use store-brand cream of mushroom soup in the green bean casserole. Go easy on yourself (and your wallet) if you don’t buy name brand ingredients for the annual feast. They taste similar to off-brands at a fraction of the cost.
Make from scratch: You pay more for pre-packaged or assembled foods not because of the ingredients, but the convenience. Carve an extra twenty minutes into your cook time to save major money in the end when you make a couple Thanksgiving staples at home. Try your hand at making piecrusts, breadcrumbs, and chicken stock from scratch. If you have little ones running around the family gathering, this is the perfect memory-making chance to help them blow off steam while putting them to good use.
Thanksgiving is a crazy-busy affair. Amidst the hustle and bustle, we’ll make it easy for you to check your spending with our online banking when you find a spare minute. Take a deep breath – and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Raccoon Valley Bank, Equal Housing Lender, Member of the FDIC