The holidays are coming! That means extra to-dos on your list and extra expenses for gifts and parties and such. It also means there will be amazing sales and prices at your local grocery store. The holidays are also a fantastic time to stock-up on grocery sale items like hams, turkeys, canned goods, baking supplies and more. Buying in bulk helps you take advantage of the savings, and it sets you up for the future so you don’t have to pay full price for a bag of flour or chocolate chips.
When it comes to holiday feast shopping, wait until the week of the feast to get the very lowest prices on all your ingredients.
If you’re worried about braving the crowds, sneak into the store early in the morning or late at night to take advantage of all the great sales. If you’ve got the freezer space, I recommend grabbing a few extra turkeys or turkey breasts, hams, beef roasts, and any other favorite cuts of meat that are on super sale during these pre-holiday weeks.
And before you head to the stores, watch for coupons and extra in-store savings on convenience and pantry-stable ingredients like canned sweet potatoes, boxes or bags of stuffing and broth.
Consider following the $5 rule when planning your holiday feast.
If you are hosting and preparing the meal, plan your feast budget so that it costs you $5 per person attending. Make your meal plan and then assign sides and desserts to those attending. If you are one of those bringing a side or dessert to the meal, make it your goal to spend just $5 per side dish.
For example, if you are having 12 people around your table, plan what you can make for $60 and then ask others to bring the remaining parts of the meal so you don’t have to take on the total cost. If you are bringing a side dish, play the sales and coupon game to get the ingredients you need to make the side for under $5.
Finally, before you hit the grocery store and buy up all their available turkeys, you need to take your own inventory first.
Plan what you want to stock up on, make sure you have room to store it in the pantry or freezer, and then make a solid list of your stockpile items before you go into the store.
By looking ahead, studying the sales, and strategically buying extra you can plan to save through the holidays and beyond!
Erin Chase is a mom of four boys and the founder of $5 Dinners, a food blog dedicated to sharing inexpensive, easy meal plans and recipes, as well as other tips and tricks to save money on food.