A Simple and Frugal Holiday

November 16, 2009

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Rev Stan

Well, Halloween is over and the Thanksgiving Holiday just can’t wait to get here. After Thanksgiving, Christmas will creep in sooner than you think and then it’s time to celebrate the New Year. With the holidays so close together, people try to look for ways to make the holiday celebrations more frugal.

How can you save on holiday celebration costs but still be able to present yummy dishes for your family to enjoy?  Here are a few tips that can help you cut the total amount of your food bill for any holiday celebration.

First, you must decide how much money you’re willing to spend on each person who will be dining with you.  A reasonable estimate for the meal would be to spend around $10 per person and not feel like you’re serving just coffee and cookies.

When you go to the grocery store, purchase items that are in season.  If turkeys are a really good price, and you have the room to store them, get a two so you can use them over the next couple of months.  Don’t be afraid to stock up on staples that you know will be used.  Try your best not to buy items that will only be used on a certain holiday.

If you can, try to make as much of the food from scratch.  Convenience foods like pie shells, biscuit mixes, and stuffing may save time, but they are expensive.  If you are making pumpkin pie, try baking a pumpkin, and use the meat of it to make your pies.  You’ll be surprised to hear your guests tell you how yummy it is.

If you have some time before hand, prepare the things in advance rather than waiting until the day of (for example; Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day)  to do so.  Bake a few pies ahead of time or several dozen cookies to keep you from having to rush on the day of the feast.

If money is tight, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.  There’s nothing wrong with guests bringing an item or two to share.  Potluck can be fun! Just because youre hosting the party in your place does not mean that you should have to prepare everything.  Put a menu together and ask people which items they are willing to bring.

You can reduce your cost by serving a vegetarian meal instead of a huge turkey to feed 20 people.  You not only save money but you’ll also save time as vegetarian meals don’t take as long to cook.  There’s a possibility too that you won’t have all the leftovers to store and eat over the next week.

Even though using disposable plates, napkins, and cutlery would make clean-up easier, it also makes the day more expensive.  It shouldn’t take more than a dishwasher load or two to get all the dishes cleaned up.  Of course, larger items like the turkey roaster will need to be washed by hands.  Tablecloths, napkins, and dishtowels may all fit into one washer load.

If you choose to have a centerpiece, look for natural items that you can use to create one. Pumpkins, gourds, pinecones, pine boughs, and fall flowers can make beautiful tablescapes and they cost little to nothing.

It is possible to have a frugal holiday celebration and still have a great time. Try to remember that it is the memories we make with our loved ones that is more important.

About the Author:

Marie Ynami loves to blog about topics that interest moms. You can find more of her blog posts at Mommy Community .

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