7 Ways to Squeeze Savings From Your Thanksgiving Celebration

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Frugal doesn't have to be "cheap." Here are seven ways to entertain loved ones in style, while keeping your wallet intact.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and anyone who has hosted this feast in the past knows that it can get a bit pricey. In fact, the average family spent just over $50 to feed a table of 10 last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Fortunately, there are many methods for trimming those costs. We have zeroed in on seven ways to squeeze savings from your Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Buy generic

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Sometimes, it’s just not worth paying more for the name brand. After all, table salt is table salt, no matter what type of fancy label appears on the packaging. Kendal Perez of CouponSherpa writes that items such as sugar, spices, flour and others are just fine in their store-brand form:

“With flour or any of those dry things, I don’t need to have Morton’s or Gold Meadow. … I usually go with the store brands.”

The same holds true for frozen veggies. And if you typically serve canned cranberry sauce on Turkey Day, hide the generic can and see if any of your guests even notice that it isn’t brand name!

2. Use fresh seasonal ingredients

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At any time of year, the cheapest foods are those that are in season. Keep that in mind when planning your Thanksgiving meal. Dawn Perry, food director of Real Simple magazine, tells CNBC:

Lots of us have that classic green bean casserole on the table, but green beans are actually at their peak in high summer, so what we want to do is focus on ingredients that are at their peak right now

Perry says such ingredients include:

  • Winter squash
  • Dark leafy greens, like kale and Swiss chard
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sweet potatoes

3. Clip those coupons 

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Thanksgiving deals are out there if you know where to find them. Check out your local grocer’s website or circular for product coupons, and visit sites, such as Coupons.com. Poke around the internet, and you can find other coupons — such as $3 off “holiday must-haves” from Butterball.

Those small price breaks can add up big time if you’re having a large dinner party!

4. Make your own decor

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Sure, you’re bound to find some beautiful Thanksgiving decor at your local retailer. But DIY decorations are much cheaper, and they offer you a chance to put your own creative stamp on your celebration.

Pine cones and pine branches can add a festive touch to your table or mantle. Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar writes:

Go outside and look for some nice, clean, colorful leaves. All you need is a plain tablecloth and a row of colorful leaves sprinkled down the middle to create a very festive setting.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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