Don’t let holiday spending gobble up your hard-earned cash
Here are 3 ways to be both festive and frugal this Thanksgiving!
Focus your spending
Let’s face it: extravagance can be part of what makes the holidays feel so festive. But being thrifty doesn’t mean you can’t still make it special. If you want to splurge a little, go ahead — but instead of spending big on everything, try picking a single element to focus on and exercise restraint with everything else. Want to treat yourself (and your guests) that gourmet turkey, beautiful new tablecloth, or special bottle of wine? Great! Just remember, the key word is “or.” Whatever you choose, you’ll enjoy it even more if you know you’ve offset the extra cost by sticking to the basics in other areas.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Individually, many holiday dishes don’t cost much to prepare, even with a big crowd. The problem is how quickly they can add up when the entire feast is the responsibility of a single household. You can ease the financial burden by inviting guests to bring something specific to share. Keep track of what’s covered elsewhere and cross those items off your list. Chances are good that guests are looking for a way to contribute anyway, and most would be honored if you ask them to prepare their signature dish to share. Plus, with less cooking to do, you’ll have more time to enjoy each other’s company.
The grocery store is another place where lots of seemingly small choices can add up to a hefty difference in the final tab. With a little planning, you can make your grocery dollars go further:
- Make two separate lists – one for the basics you can find at any big box or grocery store (like sugar and flour) and one for items that might require a trip to a more expensive store (such as fresh herbs or fancy cheeses).
- Cut corners where it matters less. No one will know the difference if you choose store-brand marshmallows to top the sweet potatoes!
- Buy day-old bread for stuffing; most recipes tell you to dry it out first anyway.
- Choose a frozen turkey. They often cost much less, but be sure to plan ahead: they take a few days to thaw in the refrigerator.
From all of us at MCCU, we wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday!
The information provided is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation.