Holidays are a time for joy, celebration, and love. However, between all the meals, holiday gatherings, and exchange of gifts it can put a dent in your wallet. Don’t worry though, you can still enjoy the holidays without spending too much if you plan it right.
Here are the many ways you can do that to save money but still have amazing holiday meals.
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1. Create a Minimal Grocery List
We tend to go a little overboard around the holidays. We splurge on lavish meals just so we can host the best feast. However, if you want to stay in your budget then it is important to create a list of everything that you need.
Focus on a few main traditional dishes that everyone expects and don’t spend too much of your money on extra dishes. You should keep it simple and minimal.
Think about your menu and then write it all down. When you go to the store just get the things you have listed and resist the temptation to spend on extra items.
2. Shop Early and Find Deals
If you procrastinate purchasing items on your shopping list, everything gets priced higher once you finally decide to buy. To save money, you should shop early and find deals on items that won’t spoil quickly.
There are many money-saving solutions for this. For example, the Ibotta app is a great way to save money on your food expenses. If you haven’t tried it out then you should try it this year and see how much money it saves you.
3. Buy in Bulk
There are certain ingredients that are staples and are needed in almost every meal. These are items include:
Such items have to be bought frequently and there is no way around it. To save money on these necessities, you can just buy them in bulk. These items will be useful after the holidays are over as well.
Another thing to remember here is to buy generic brands. Don’t go for branded or imported items as these are basic necessities and it doesn’t make sense to splurge on them.
This will also reduce the amount you spend on your holiday meals and you can focus on what meal to make instead of thinking about what brand to buy.
4. Consider These Cheap & Delicious Holiday Meal Ideas
If you are having trouble with being creative in the kitchen when it comes to cheap holiday meal ideas then don’t worry. Here are some of the best holiday meals that are just as delicious as they are cheap:
- Turkey Cutlets: Make turkey cutlets rather than a full-sized turkey
- Grilled Ham Steak: This is a money-saving alternative to the traditional ham
- Beef Bourguignon: Expensive roast beef is out and beef bourguignon is in
- Shrimp Scampi: Instead of getting a whole lobster, replace it with shrimp to make delicious and buttery scampi
- Cranberry Relish: Swap your normal cranberry sauce with budget-friendly relish
Try them out this year and experience how affordable and less-time consuming these alternatives are!
5. Turn Leftovers into Simple Dishes
Do you know that the average American wastes 30 – 40% of the food that they buy? There is a lot of food waste during holidays too as we love to go overboard with meal planning.
Don’t let that be the case this year. Instead, try to use leftover meals in other ways. For example, you can turn your Thanksgiving leftovers into turkey and ham sandwiches.
Apart from that, you can take all the leftovers and make a soup out of it. The idea is to be creative with your leftovers and utilize them so they don’t go to waste.
6. Make Dessert at Home
One of the places you don’t want to visit around the holiday season is the bakery. They are overcrowded and nothing is ever on sale during this time as this is their money-making season.
Instead, find one or two dessert ideas and make them at home. These can be as simple as making a trifle or brownies. You can also ask your guests to bring desserts to your holiday gathering if they want to contribute.
7. Limit Number of Guests This Year
You should do this for two reasons. Firstly, to save money and secondly because you still need to be careful as we are in the middle of a pandemic and precautions are necessary.
Think about the people that really matter to you like immediate family members and friends. Only invite them and focus on giving them a warm and traditional holiday experience. This way you will reduce your food expenses and have a great time with the people you love most. A win-win situation!
Not everyone is always financially responsible, especially during this period. Give yourself a break and instead have simple but delicious holiday meals with your loved ones.