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Budget Thanksgiving Dinner

Great money-saving recipes and tips to help you feast well for less.

Thanksgiving Menu
Each of these crowd-pleasing recipes rates four stars or more, and you don't have to spend on fancy ingredients to get the big flavors.

Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way

Photo by LSpivey

Top 10 Tips to Keep Costs Down

  • Turkey is usually about 40 percent of the cost of the meal. Save money by buying a store-brand frozen turkey (with a coupon) instead of a fresh bird. Be sure to allow enough time to thaw the bird: one day in the fridge for every five pounds.
  • Save money by making your own Thanksgiving basics such as breadcrumbs, whipped cream, pie crusts, and chicken stock.
  • Potatoes are cheaper by the bag. Can't use a whole bag? Split it with a thrifty-minded pal. Same thing goes for buying butter, eggs, sugar, and flour at big box stores like Costco or Sam's Club. Split the packages with friends and you're sharing the savings.
  • Herbs are cheaper if you buy in bulk bins where you can purchase only the small amounts you need.
  • Look for store coupons and weekly specials, especially during the holidays when retailers are trying to attract you into the stores.
  • Choose generic or store brands. They're less expensive but just as good as big name brands.
  • Buy canned cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling the week before Thanksgiving, when they typically are on sale.
  • Frozen and canned ingredients can cost a lot less than fresh.
  • Go to the store with a shopping list and stick to it. Impulse buys add up quickly.
  • Thanksgiving potlucks are a great way to share the big feast (and the cost) with family and friends. It's a win-win all the way around.

Helpful Cooking Videos:

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