Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget! 4 Tips to Save Time and Money.

Hosting my first Thanksgiving Dinner - what should I do?

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Here’s a free email newsletter subscriber question about hosting her first Thanksgiving.

I will be cooking my first Thanksgiving Dinner for my Family and I am overwhelmed!

Help! We’ve been married for 4 years and this will be the first time I’m hosting Thanksgiving. We’ve got relatives coming from out of town. I’m panicking over the cost!

Panicked for Thanksgiving – Email Subscriber

Don’t Fret over Your First Thanksgiving Dinner!

Hosting and cooking for your first Thanksgiving and you have a budget is no problem. We totally get that the thought of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for a whole family can be overwhelming and expensive.

And the emotional toll of hosting parents or in-laws can really add to the stress. Just remember that they’ve all been where you are — preparing their first Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully, they’ll be helpful and encouraging. If they are not, no worries, you can still do your best and have a wonderful holiday!

Keeping the Cost of Thanksgiving Down

But when it comes to the cost of the meal there are all kinds of good news, so you don’t need to panic.

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the least expensive meals to prepare because everything is on sale the weeks leading up to the feast. Frozen turkeys will be around between 60 and 80 cents per pound, so a 20-pound bird will cost between $12 and $16. That is pricy if you were doing a meal for a small family.

But if you consider that you should be able to feed at least 15 people with a 20-pound turkey and still have some turkey leftover for other meals, it’s about $1 per person.

Monitor Turkey Prices for Several Weeks

The biggest thing is to start monitoring turkey prices now so you know when they hit rock bottom in your area. We do an annual Turkey price shout-out on Facebook – with people sharing info from all around the country. So make sure you visit our fan page and share what you’re seeing.

Ask people to help with your First Thanksgiving

People love to help. If you are going to spend hours preparing a meal, there is no reason others can’t pitch in and bring something. Food items can be easy like dinner rolls, pies, drinks (cranberry juice, sparkling cider, egg nog, wine)or whipped cream. For those who cook, you can ask for cranberry sauce or a vegetable side dish.

Set a Fancy Table for Your First Holiday Meal

Annette used to be terrified of decorating until she discovered Pinterest. Follow our page and explore our boards. There are amazing ideas for table centerpieces!

Stock up on Other Sale Items

Other items on sale: Keep your eyes open for other bargains too, you’ll find great prices on potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce, green beans, and all the fixin’s.

Our blog on Thanksgiving Stock-up Items has a wonderful list of all the food items you could stock up on at the grocery store during the first couple of weeks in November. The stores will drop prices in the second and third weeks to entice folks to start spending. The early bird really does get the worm in this case!

This year the grocery stores in our area are once again fighting for market share and dropping prices like crazy. In the past week, we’ve seen frozen Turkey prices drop from a high of 79 cents a pound all the way down to 59 cents!

When prices drop like this, it’s time to fill your freezer with a few inexpensive birds!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!

Reader Suggestion: Cooking The Turkey Ahead of Time

Here’s something we did which de-stressed our Thanksgiving tremendously! I cooked the turkey the day before – exactly the same way I’ve roasted it in the past. After it was cooked, my husband took his time and carved the entire bird.

I put the pieces in the fridge and the next day I put some water in the bottom of a roasting pan and covered it with foil and basically “steamed” the meat until it was warm enough to serve. It turned out GREAT!

Everyone commented on how good the turkey was and it made my day so much easier knowing the turkey was already done and carved! All I had to do was get the side dishes ready!

Joy Daly – Manchester, MO

How Much Turkey Do You Need?

Watch this video to learn how many pounds of turkey you’ll need to prepare and what to do with turkey leftovers.

And if you want to learn Annette’s secret method for quickly defrosting and easy cooking method for a turkey, take a look at the video below.

How To Cook A Turkey

If you like this video, please leave a comment or suggestion.

Oh, and our Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without Annette’s delicious candied yams – they are sticky, sweet, and absolutely addictive.

Your First Thanksgiving to Cook Dinner? No Problem!

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