8 ways to make your holiday meal more affordable
Many families and friends come together to celebrate, spend time together and share a meal during the holiday season. However, due to inflation, food is more expensive this year. If you’re worried about the financial side of preparing a great holiday meal, we’ve got a few ideas that could help you save money. You don’t have to spend a lot to make the vacation special, and by making a few changes, you can pay less while still having a delicious meal. Here are eight ways to make your holiday meal more affordable.
1. Buy with a list
When you don’t have a list, it can be easy to buy more than you need and forget about essential ingredients. Before you go to the store to buy your holiday meal ingredients, make a shopping list. This way, you will have a plan that can help you spend less and make your shopping experience a lot easier.
2. Compare prices between stores
Before you go shopping, it’s a good idea to look at the sales brochures of stores in your area and compare the prices of the items you need to buy. Most stores sell popular holiday meal items before the holidays. If you have multiple stores near you, you can compare prices and buy the cheapest items from each store. Just be sure to consider the cost of gas and the distance between stores before driving around town.
3. Don’t ignore generic brands
When shopping, take a look at the cost of generic branded items and compare them to the cost of branded items. In many cases, store brand products are much cheaper than brand name products. Buying generic ingredients can offer big savings, and no one will know the difference.
4. Use cash back apps
Cash Back Apps provide an easy way to earn money on your purchases. These mobile apps are easy to use and offer Cash Back Rewards at many grocery stores and other popular stores. The more you use these apps, the faster your earnings will accumulate. Once you have reached the minimum withdrawal amount, you can withdraw the funds you have earned. You can then use these funds for a future shopping spree.
5. Organize a potluck dinner
If you’re hosting this year, consider suggesting a potluck where everyone brings a dish. A potluck dinner is a fun experience because everyone can contribute, and it also reduces the financial burden for everyone. If you want to keep things organized, start a group chat and have everyone communicate in advance about what dish they plan to bring.
6. Buy prepared meals
It may be cheaper to buy ready meals. For example, desserts may cost less at your local grocery store. If you don’t cook often, it can be expensive to stock up on the baking ingredients you need. Many grocery stores sell inexpensive prefabricated desserts. You can save money and spend less time preparing your meal.
7. Create new traditions
You might think that a festive meal should include certain dishes, but it doesn’t. You have the freedom to be creative when planning your next meal. There are no rules that say you have to eat turkey or ham. Why not start a new tradition this year? You can involve your family to make the planning process more fun, and it can save you money as well.
8. Don’t be afraid to accept help
Community resources can be helpful, especially during the holiday season. Check out your local community groups to see what they are doing to help families prepare for the holidays. Some organizations will give you ingredients, full meals, or gift cards to help you buy what you need. Don’t be embarrassed to take advantage of these resources. They exist for a reason and they can make the busy holiday season less stressful.
Your holiday meal doesn’t have to be fancy, traditional or expensive. By being creative and changing your shopping habits, you can make your next holiday meal more affordable. We have more personal financial resources to help you make more informed financial choices.