The holidays are upon us and for many of us that means a new set of expenses to worry about. It may seem that you are already living pay check to pay check and perhaps the fear of having to afford Christmas gifts for everyone is already sinking in. Yet as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw nearer many of us forget to budget for the holiday groceries and that can be a major budget sinker, sometimes even more so than the presents. So, how should we manage affording all the extra yummy holiday foods on top of our already tight grocery budget without telling the family that they have to wait till Thanksgiving Day until they can eat? Easy!
Below are some tips for saving money on holiday groceries that will make it easier for you to not only save money but also prepare those yummy goodies.
Believe it or not we grow to have deep connections with certain brands and not only do name brands know that but they desire to keep it that way. Think about it for a moment. Certain cereals we grow up eating from our youth and if the recipe calls for that cereal we automatically grab a few boxes without thinking to check for an alternative in the bag section. Even if you think to buy generic during the rest of the year as an attempt to save money it can be very challenging to buy generic during the holiday seasons because we become so busy that we just start checking items off of the grocery list.
The most successful people in life have a plan, this is even true for saving money on holiday groceries. Plan your list, check it twice and then plan it again. If a certain recipe calls for a little bit of a particular item and you know that you’ll have something left over in the jar or container, don’t let it go to waste. Instead, plan your family’s weekly meals around those items. Perhaps even use the same items across multiple recipes for that particular holiday. As an example let’s say that you have Pecan Pie with Chocolate chips on the menu as well as peanut butter cookies. Consider changing the type of cookies from peanut butter cookies to chocolate chip cookies as a way to cut down on the cost.
Buy Early and Freeze
Here’s a secret for you. Turkeys go on sale as early as the month before Thanksgiving and they are typically at a great price. Only, most people don’t think to buy turkeys for Thanksgiving while others are buying pumpkins for Halloween. As a result we tend to pay a higher price for turkeys as the supply and demand are greater the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Why not start checking prices as early as late October to the beginning of November as a way to cut down on cost, then just freeze the items that are on sale. Trust us, no one is going to notice that you bought that frozen turkey at Halloween.
Know the Tricks
- You may love that grocery store of yours but the truth is that grocery store doesn’t love you as much as they love your money. Be wise, look around. They are wise in the way that they display items because they study you and they study your habits. Those name brand items are going to be in the most obvious locations for you, they will be on brightly colored displays and will be holiday themed to make you feel good about your buying choice. Walk over into the aisle and look for the package with less holiday appeal. That’s where you will save your money at. Stop and think, do I need this before I buy it? Or is it an item that wasn’t on your list but somehow placed exactly where you would see it. Know the tricks and just say no to playing the game.