Thanksgiving swell is here, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks on your favorite holiday merchandise.
Food items such as turkey, sweet potatoes, squash and cranberry sauce are being affected by a multifaceted labor and supply shortage, driving up prices as the coronavirus pandemic continues. Fortunately, with a little planning and flexibility, you can lessen the impact of higher grocery store prices, experts say.
Here are some Thanksgiving shopping tips that will help you keep costs down.
Gil Faubiano, President and CEO of O’Brien Wealth Partners. “Otherwise, look to buy in bulk if you can and maybe even create a small food sharing with a group of friends or family.”
Aside from shopping locally, most money experts agree that you should develop a strategy before you stop at the grocery store.
“Make a menu so there are fewer impulse purchases and plan before you shop. Check for coupons online too and read the store’s circular for deals,” said food consultant Amy Goldsmith, who hosts grocery Money chips for three California-based radio stations – KUHL, KSMA and KRAZ.
“Use frequent coupons and shopping cards. Also, remember, just because there is a huge end display doesn’t mean it’s for sale. Double-check the signage and prices.” Use store brands—usually exactly the same as brand name items, they are lower cost. [And] If you’re having guests, but you don’t want food or people to bring anything, you can ask them to bring wine, liquor, and dessert to help offset the costs.”
If drinks aren’t enough to dampen the price hikes of Thanksgiving at your family gathering, asking for financial assistance may be a reasonable solution, according to Baruch Labonsky — CEO at secure mattress, a digital analytics company.
“Cost sharing. There is no reason for one person to pay the bill for the entire meal,” Labonsky said. “Ask your holiday guests to contribute their favorite dishes to your feast. lightens the financial burden.
Giving up Thanksgiving staples is another option families may want to consider if grocery store sales aren’t enough to offset the costs.
“Start a new tradition like making tamales — a time-consuming labor of love that results in a delicious and filling meal, allows everyone to work together, and at negligible cost,” Labonsky said.
More in Los Altos, California, bankruptcy attorney and financial writer Lyle David Solomon from Oak View Law Group He’s got some shopping tricks up his sleeve.
From using supermarket points for Thanksgiving staples to finding coupons in the weeks leading up to the holiday on social media or brand sites, there are endless ways to save money on food.
“If your favorite brand has an email newsletter, subscribe to it too,” Solomon said. “At least a few of these newsletters will definitely alert you to coupons you’ve never heard of anyway.”
He also recommends cost-conscious Thanksgiving shoppers to buy fresh produce in bulk.
“Spinach, red and white onions, sweet potatoes, squash, and kale are the most cost-effective vegetables,” Solomon said. But fresh herbs, cucumbers, green beans and broccoli are the most expensive. So, try not to buy it as much as possible.”
Families who want to modify the way their Thanksgiving turkeys are prepared can also save money, according to Solomon.
Costs could come down, he said, “if you choose fresh turkey instead of frozen turkey, rather than just roasting a whole turkey.” “[Alternatively, you can] Choose turkey legs or turkey breasts, they are cheaper and easier to prepare.”