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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Greetings Thrifty Friends,

You don't need me to tell you that Thanksgiving is next week! I am already fantasizing about the thick slices of tender, juicy roast turkey, drenched in mushroom gravy and rubbing shoulder-to-shoulder with a small mountain of mashed potatoes and a simply disgracefully giant scoop of creamy green bean casserole.

Unfortunately, this unique American holiday usually comes with a lot of expenditures. We want to go a little overboard to impress our family and friends. But you can still host a fantastic meal without the fantastic cost with a few very simple ideas.

Keep pinchin' those pennies,

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* One of the simplest ways to cut costs is to cut the number of side dishes. The more different dishes prepared, the more money spent. Is it really going to ruin dinner if you don't have honey-glazed carrots AND corn on the cob AND sweet potato casserole AND creamed spinach? Nobody eats that stuff anyway.

Focusing on just a couple of side dishes to go along with the turkey is a surefire way to reduce your grocery bill. Pick recipes that require just a few common ingredients that you probably already have in the house.

* Skipping appetizers is a good strategy too. Since guests will stuff themselves on the main course, avoid the effort and expense of preparing costly finger foods. You can put out a platter of cheese and a bowl of nuts for just a few dollars and your guests won't ruin their appetites for the main course.

* Guests want to contribute! Nobody likes showing up to a party empty-handed, so ask guests to bring appetizers, desserts or wine. It is not an imposition and really eases your cost. Especially in booze.

* Finally, probably the single most expensive item on your menu will be the turkey. Fresh turkeys have become very popular, but really, can you tell the difference in taste from a frozen bird? Typically a frozen turkey costs about half the price per pound compared with a fresh turkey. And if you want to guarantee juiciness you can brine your turkey for 12 hours before roasting it. Cost: less than $2 in Kosher Salt.

* Of course, the best way to save money on Thanksgiving is to find somebody who is hosting a big dinner and get yourself invited to their house!