Max’s 6 Tips for Frugal Holiday Meal Planning will help you throw a great dinner party and still leave you with a little extra jingle in your pocket
Hosting a holiday party with family and friends is something to look forward to all year but you shouldn’t have to break the bank to do it. The staple of our holiday parties, the food, is the most expensive aspect and can cost more than the usual month’s worth of groceries. Crazy! So how can you still throw an awesome holiday party with great food without going broke?
- Host a Potluck.
Having a potluck is a great way to gather all of your friends and family together for dinner without putting the pressure solely on yourself to buy all of the food and then prepare it too. Tell everyone to bring their favorite holiday dish or set a theme for the party and give your guests some ideas of what to bring.
- Be on the lookout for sales
You might not usually spend a lot of time researching sales but there is no better time to start than the holiday season. You can search sales from your local grocery stores online and by picking up a sales flyer. A lot of grocery chains also have free apps that can be downloaded to smartphones to keep you in the loop about current deals. If you plan far enough ahead, you can grab the items you need as they go on sale. If you waited until the last minute, you can plan your meal based on the sales you see. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and take a non-traditional meal planning route.
- Make a note of what you already have in your pantry
You might already have some of the basic holiday essentials in your pantry. Items such as flour, sugar, spices, and olive oil are common for daily use so once you make your holiday menu, check off those items that you already have so you aren’t wasting money on buying duplicates.
- Plan Ahead
Try to plan your meal ahead of time so you have an idea of how much money you anticipate on spending. Knowing what your meal will cost allows you to plan it into your budget and minimize unexpected financial burdens.
- Make a list and stick to it
The fancy desserts, candy and holiday decorations are tempting but adding items to your cart that are not on your list can add up quickly. Pop-up holiday fixtures at the registers are called impulse towers for a reason – resist the urge and don’t add any last minute extras to your cart while you stand in line at the check-out.
- Make your party BYOB
It isn’t a rule that you have to provide the entire meal yourself. Let your friends and family know that your gathering is BYOB (Bring your own beverage) or collectively decide on a “drink of the night” and have each guest bring one of the ingredients.
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