5 Tips for Thanksgiving Savings
Tip 1: Take advantage of price-matching policies and coupons. Combine store and manufacturer coupons with price-matching policies to get rock-bottom prices on traditional Thanksgiving ingredients. Stockpile coupons for shopping before Thanksgiving to take advantage of the sales — take note of any deals on perishables with a decent shelf life, such as onions, garlic, butternut or acorn squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes/yams.
Tip 2: Stock up on day-old bakery bread. Cut into cubes for stuffing and dry out on a baking sheet or closed brown paper bag. Dried bread cubes will keep up to 10 days at room temperature; otherwise, freeze them in a resealable plastic bag with excess air pressed out.
Tip 3: Buy cranberries and freeze them. Mark the year they were frozen, and don’t forget to use them! (Set a reminder in your calendar, if needed.) They freeze well and won’t need to be defrosted before use, so they’re hassle-free, too. Comb through them before use and discard any shriveled or marred berries, same as you would with fresh ones.
Tip 4: Cook the gratis bird from the supermarket — just not for the star dish. Most turkey freebies are leftover from years prior and have likely reduced in quality. Use the bird to make a rich turkey stock for stuffing, gravy and any other menu item calling for chicken or beef broth; use cooked meat, if it doesn’t taste of freezer burn, in turkey salads or as a filling in burritos, omelets or casseroles.
Tip 5: Buy dry and canned goods in the days after Thanksgiving. From pumpkin puree to bagged roasted chestnuts, holiday-related ingredients will need to be cleared out of the stores post-holiday, so take advantage of low prices. Don’t forget to check that expiration dates go past next year’s Thanksgiving.