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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re presenting a guide on tips and easy ways to host a thanksgiving dinner without breaking the bank.

This day is meant for eating mounds of food, not spending mounds of cash, so 7 ways to help you celebrate a guilt-free Thanksgiving.

1. Make a shopping list and stick to it

Plan your menu, ideally around items you already have. For example if you have dried sage and the recipe calls for fresh, you can often save money without a large change in taste, by utilizing what you already have.

Cut corners and improvise where you can – remember all anyone will notice in the end is a heaping plate!

Once you know what you need, take your shopping list to the grocery store, but for maximum savings, try to stick with what you’ve written down.

If you’re less of a pen-and-paper type shopper, and prefer to make your grocery list on your phone, you can check out Country Grocer’s online shopping list.

2. Pick what’s in season

Planning your menu around produce that is in season is a great way to save money. It will be cheaper and tastier!

In B.C., you can catch these delicious ingredients in season right now: Apples, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Corn, Cranberries, Garlic, Kale, Lettuce, Leeks, Onions, Pears, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Rosemary, Sage, Salad Greens, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Thyme, Turnips, and Winter Squash.

3. Make only your favourite dishes

Pick the absolute must-haves for your Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t need ten side-dishes! You will not only save money, but also time.

4. Make your menu from scratch

Pre-made items are convenient, but are usually more costly. Buy a bag of potatoes and peel, boil, and mash them by hand.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or want an easy-to-follow recipe, Country Grocer has you covered with directions like this one for the best turkey ever.

5. Skip the alcohol

The cost of bottles of alcohol can quickly add up. And with the grogginess of turkey and a heavy meal, you might be surprised that you don’t even miss it.

Alternately, when friends and family ask what to bring, request they provide a bottle of wine.

6. Decorate simply

Don’t obsess about making your home look like House & Garden editorial.

A natural feature in the centre of the table is often enough (such as dried grasses, herbs, and decorative gourds). A little will go a long way.

7. Have a potluck!

The spirit of Thanksgiving is about sharing and being together, so be happy to accept help! Make a potluck dinner and share the costs. People are usually happy to pitch in and bring a dish or two.

The recipes that Country Grocer offers, like this tasty spiced pumpkin flan, have a handy “add to shopping list” function that adds all the ingredients for a dish straight to your grocery list, so you don’t have to worry about missing a thing.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We bid you a satisfying and restful food coma.

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