NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and if you’re hosting the holiday you know the money you spend can add up.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, going through the grocery store aisles to plan your Thanksgiving dinner and thinking of the cost can make you want to go to someone else’s home.
“I usually get invited, that usually saves me money,” Maria Moxon said.
Chef Jeff Gourley at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison said making a great Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have to put a hole in your pocket.
He said the key is to start early so you don’t over-purchase.
“You don’t want to wait a day or two before the holiday. Prepare a week before,” he said.
That will let you compare prices for Thanksgiving staples like chicken broth and cranberry sauce.
Rely on coupons, especially at online sites like coupons.com.
Many supermarkets also offer a free turkey or a discounted one if you spend a certain amount.
Another piece of advice from experts — shop your pantry. You may have a lot of potatoes at home for mashed potatoes.
The key is to use what you have at home to save money.
“Once you go through that, then you start writing the items you need to plan your menu,” Gourley said.
He also suggested asking guests to bring side dishes, and use cheap, overlapping ingredients — carrots, celery, and onions go in the stuffing and turkey.
Then there’s dessert — chef Gourley said don’t make it.
“Sometimes it might come out the same to buy a chocolate mousse cake rather than buy all the ingredients for the chocolate mousse,” he said.
More than anything — keep it simple, so everyone can have a good time.
There are also apps out there that allow you to compare prices at stores, and going meatless can save a lot of money.