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Posted: 9:57 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

How to plan Thanksgiving dinner for under $100

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By Crystal Collins, Contributor

ClarkHoward.com


These days most people don’t think it’s possible to save money on the big Turkey feast. It’s become a necessary expense to entertain family and friends. Most of us know that we can save by having other people bring dishes to the party, but we still end up footing a lot of the bill when we decide to host the festivities.

I recently participated in a grocery challenge, to see how much I could save at the grocery store. My main goal became simple: I wanted to see if I could actually save money while buying foods for an entire Thanksgiving feast. We’ve seen the TV shows that show people clearing shelves of mustard and toothpaste. I didn’t want to go this route. Could we actually save on wholesome foods for the holidays?

I ended up spending $97 for an entire Thanksgiving feast to feed 6-8 people, and I saved a total of 37%. Here’s how to do it:
 

1.     Look at the sales at your local stores to find the best deals, and plan out your list accordingly.

2.     Pair coupons with those sales. Printable coupons are especially hot these days, and you can save a good amount of money printing from home.

3.     Look for mark downs at your store. Those manager’s specials can make for a really great deal, and an easy savings of 50% or more!

4.     Use great money saving apps for savings. Favado will help you plan your entire trip by showing you all of the sales, and you can email yourself a shopping list with coupons directly from your phone. You can find a list of other free grocery apps here.

When all was said and done, I had the Thanksgiving turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, cornbread, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, salad, sweet potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, sugar, flour, eggs, butter, milk, juice, crescent rolls, and even a bottle of wine!

By using these simple strategies, you can easily save on Thanksgiving dinner and come in under a $100 budget. Are you hosting the festivities this year? How will you be saving money on the meal?

Crystal Collins, a Savings.com DealPro, is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog at NaturalThrifty.com. Crystal also works as a consultant for Savings.com on the Favado grocery program.

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