If you put on Christmas dinner (or any Christmas meal) at your home, then you probably know the stress that comes along with it.
One of the biggest stresses that come with making a Christmas dinner is how quickly the money starts adding up.
If you plan ahead and make out an organized plan, there are several ways that you can save money on your Christmas meal and stop stressing about how you are going to afford your perfect Christmas dinner.
Here are 5 ways that you can save money on your Christmas dinner or any type of meal you may put on for the holidays.
1. Shop the Grocery Sales for Several Weeks Before Christmas
My advice would be to start looking out for what the grocery stores have on sale at the end of November. This means that you have to be prepared and have some sort of idea of what foods you plan on making for Christmas.
There are plenty of food items that can be frozen for a few weeks before you need prepare them. This is especially true for the expensive purchases like the main meat you will be serving as well as any seafood.
Only purchase items that you know that you can freeze or that will still be fresh up until Christmas, as you don’t want to waste money on food that goes bad.
2. Plan Your Christmas Meal Around Sales
Just as I mentioned above, start looking out for what is on sale in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This also means that you may have to adjust your menu with what items you find on sale.
For example, instead of a ham, you may want to make a turkey if they go on sale for cheaper than what the ham costs.
I know that canned vegetables and even things like cranberry sauce usually go on sale for at least 30% off normal price during the holiday season, so make sure you buy them on sale if you have them on your menu.
You will have to decide what you are willing to adjust on your menu to save some money on your meal.
3. Ask Other People to Bring Something for the Meal
Most people realize the rising cost of food and if you are inviting close friends and family to your meal, they most likely won’t have a problem chipping in and bringing something to supplement the main entrée.
You could ask people to bring an appetizer or dessert or even something some drinks to help offset the cost.
There are some people who may be too proud or “too proper” to ask their guests to bring a dish or beverage, but this is definitely an option for keeping the cost down.
4. Be On the Lookout for Coupons
During the months of November and December, you will notice quite a few more coupons than what usually tend to come out during normal months.
You will also notice lots of coupons to do with baking and Christmas foods. For example, I know that I always see coupons for things like flour, heavy cream, chocolate chips, all kinds of nuts, cheese, and cranberries when it starts getting closer to the holiday season.
Just like working your menu around sales, you can also work your menu around the coupons you may have. Even better is if you can pair those coupons with the grocery store sales to save even more money.
5. Shop At ALDI Instead of a Huge Grocery Store
One of my favorite places to save money on a big meal is to go to a store like ALDI, which is considered an off-brand store. You won’t find most of your name brand food items but will mostly find the ALDI’s brand names, which are the exact same foods as most of the name brands.
You can stock up on your essentials at the store like your potatoes, lettuce, cheese, butter, flour, sugar, and even other stuff like rolls, crackers, canned vegetables, and some specialty baking goods.
The items at ALDI cost quite a bit less than most normal grocery stores because they don’t have all the overhead costs like a huge grocery store and they pass those savings on to the customer.
Check out ALDI’s website to see if one of them is near you to help you save money this holiday.
So, stop being stressed out about how much money your Christmas dinner is going to cost you this year, and instead follow these money saving tips and enjoy the holiday spirit.