*Old news can be good news! Especially news that is evergreen! This is an article that I wrote a little while back, but still pertains to situations today. With fuel prices being high and food costs on the rise, we can always use some advice on how to save money during the holidays.
I've published this article at Yahoo! Voices and Bubblews, but I thought I would share it here at Examiner too. People can always use the money-saving tips that I have listed below... In this day and age, many of us need to know how to save a penny, but still enjoy the holidays-especially at Thanksgiving, when we really learn what we are most thankful for....
Looking to spend Thanksgiving with a large dinner and your family this year? With high prices of fuel and food, it's possible that it could be hard on your wallet and budget. While the economy may seem at a low point, and the money seems scarce in your household, it still is possible to have a joyful Thanksgiving dinner with those that you love.
Buy during sales
One of the first ways that you can save money on the Thanksgiving feast is to begin purchasing food during sales at your area grocery stores. Usually in the months of October and early November, sales on canned goods, rolls, noodles, and other side dishes begin to lower in price. Also take advantage of any of your store coupons in weekend newspapers as well. This can help you get a jump-start on purchasing goods for your dinner.
Assign other family members/friends to bring side dishes/dessert
Another way to save money for Thanksgiving is to assign a dish or a couple of dishes to family members. Gather members of the family together for a meeting. Take a notebook and write the adult members of the family down. Go around and ask each of them something they can contribute to the meal. If most of the family can take care of side dishes, then perhaps you could handle the turkey itself and a dessert dish. With family members bringing food, it will cut down the cost for everyone by just bringing a few select items and dishes.
Hold the dinner at someone's home that has the extra room. If you need extra table settings, see if you could borrow tables from your church, or have other family members bring extra card tables if they have them. For place settings and silverware, tell all family members to bring their own plates, forks, and cups. This will save cost on having to purchase paper plates and plastic silverware. When dinner is over, those who brought their own actual plates can wash them up or throw away paper plates and plastic-ware that they may have brought.
If you would like Thanksgiving decorations to add a special touch to your dinner area, gather some of the children together to make decorations. Have them place their hands on paper and trace around them to make Thanksgiving turkeys. Color them with crayons or markers. Place a member of the family's name on each sheet to create a placeholder. Take a roll of streamer paper and let the children weave it in and out of chairs or around the table. Have an adult help them tape it so it stays in place. It may be a good idea to let the children decorate at least an hour of two before dinner is served. Then let the children place the plates, cups, and forks at the table. This will make them feel like they helping out with the feast.
Save on fuel
For fuel saving tips, have families carpool together if they own vans or bigger vehicles. If more families can arrive in groups, it will help save money on travel. Family members who are riding as passengers can donate gas money to the drivers. This will also save on parking space at the place of the Thanksgiving celebration as well.
By using some of these ideas and activities, your wallet can spare some money while you still get to spend time with the people whom you love at Thanksgiving. Even while the economy may be at odds, it is still important to try to spend time with your family to celebrate special holiday occasions and not have to worry about breaking the budget.
*And always remember-Don't forget the pumpkin pie!
*Previously published at: