How to Save on Your Christmas Meal
What’s the difference between Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving dinner, and why can’t the holiday-scheduling people put a little more time between the two holidays? The Turkey Day meal is usually a little more elaborate, but both require a whole lot of preparation and can cost a whole lot of money.
Just like Thanksgiving, there are several tricks you can employ to save 20, 30 or even 40 percent on Christmas dinner. Here are just a few:
GET A HEAD COUNT – Knowing how many people to expect is important. Why? Because if you don’t know how many people are coming to dinner, you can’t possibly know how much food to make. Speaking of which…
MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE – When you’re cooking a feast for four people or even 14 people, it’s easy to overbuy on groceries and cook way more food than you need. Sure, the leftovers will eventually get eaten, but if you plan your menu wisely, you can probably save 20 to 25 percent on your grocery bills – and still have plenty of leftovers to go around.
BRING YOUR OWN… – If you want to save both time and money on groceries (and why wouldn’t you?) consider asking your guests to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Why? Because drinks – especially the “adult” kind – can be the most costly part of any party budget. If you’re not serving drinks, you might ask your guests to bring a side dish. That’s right, potluck style. How much time and money can you save by eliminating four or five side dishes from your to-do list? Plenty!
START BUYING NOW – As any grocery bargain hunter can tell you, the key to saving money on groceries is to stock up when things are on sale and not wait until the last minute to buy what you need. The same is true when it comes to Christmas dinner. By buying early, you can get fill up your pantry with items on sale and save lots of money along the way.