How to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner!

Are you planning a get-together this Thanksgiving?

If so, it will probably involve lots of food…and of course, turkey! If you’re expecting a large crowd, you can expect to spend around $50 on Thanksgiving dinner. That’s the estimated average spending from the American Farm Bureau Federation for 2016.

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Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and showing appreciation for our loved ones, so of course, sharing a great meal is important! But, if cost is a concern, here are 5 quick tips to show your appreciation over a delicious meal, while saving money!

1. Plan Ahead

Know what you will prepare early, and know how many people you will be serving. This will help you to determine what you need to purchase, and estimate how much to buy. Creating a shopping list will prevent you from over-spending.

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2. Shop Your Pantry

Take inventory before heading to the store. Do you have the ingredients you need at home? If so, you can cut down your grocery bill by using what you already have.

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3. Make it a potluck! 

If you’re in charge of the main course, ask your guests to bring the side dishes. If each guest brings one side item (salad, casserole, rolls, dessert), you can significantly decrease your Thanksgiving bill. Plus, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in the holiday meal-prep!

4. Keep it simple

Limit the choices. If you’re making turkey, don’t feel the need to also bake a ham or beef. Choose between making regular or sweet potatoes, and make only two pies instead of four! Having too many options is not only overwhelming, but also leads to a heftier grocery bill. Not to mention, lots of over-stuffed guests!

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5. Cook from scratch

Baking rolls, desserts, and potatoes from scratch is significantly less expensive than buying boxed or pre-made items from the store. Plus, cooking from scratch is generally better for your health, with benefits like less sodium, more vitamins, and less preservatives.

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For example:

  • A pre-made box of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes is $3.14 at Walmart
  • A 5lb bag of Russet potatoes is $2.97 at Walmart

Chances are, you will need more than one box of the pre-made potatoes. One 5lb bag, a little milk and butter, will work for your homemade mashed potatoes!

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thanks for reading,

Mallory

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Are You Spending This Much Money on the Holidays?

The National Retail Federation says that Americans plan to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday season. That’s a big chunk of change.

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Unless you’ve set money aside for holiday shopping, this extra cash will have to come from somewhere. Where will you turn?

The majority of Americans will turn to credit cards. A survey from MagnifyMoney revealed that at 52 percent, they are the most common form of holiday debt.

Credit cards are awesome for emergency situations or when used responsibly for building credit.

The downside is that they are an easy-to-access source of money with high interest rates. When shopping for credit cards, you’ll find an average interest rate of around 23 percent. This makes holiday shopping even more expensive!

Using credit cards during the holidays isn’t necessarily wrong. But you DO have other, and often less expensive, options.

Casco Federal Credit Union offers a great alternative to credit cards. It’s a loan specifically designed for holiday shopping. The Holiday Loan is an affordable way to finance your holiday shopping, with rates as low as 7.99 percent.

Watch the video.

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Monthly payments at a rate of 7.99 percent would be much lower than at a rate of 23 percent or higher!

If you anticipate lots of spending this holiday season, and you haven’t had the time to save up for it, consider a loan that will cost you less, and be paid off within a year or less!

To apply, please visit the website, or call Casco Federal Credit Union at 207-839-5588 and ask to speak with a loan officer!

Thanks for reading,

Mallory