Photo: Eugene Kim / Flickr
We’ve compiled three excellent ways to help save at three different pricepoints. Read on to see which strategy works best for you.
Make the right list
Kindsman’s did her feast for $9 per person (excluding wine). Here’s what she bought:
1 12 pound Turkey $7.08
1 Ham Hock $2.73
Collard greens $6
1 Box of stuffing $2.50
Mashed potatoes $3
Sweet potatoes $3.83
Squash casserole $3.23
Dinner Rolls $.60/10 pack
Cranberry Sauce $2.99
2 pounds of bananas (for pudding) $1.58
Additional ingredients $2
Chicken Stock $2
Condensed Milk $1.79
Brown sugar $1.99
Potato Chips $1.39
Grand total: $70.11
For spices, which really kill a budget, Kinsman bought the majority at a dollar store.
Recipies to save
Another way to keep things cheap is to make the right recipes.
Instead of cooking turkey, which will be on the pricey side anyway, try pork tenderloins.
Kitchen.com shows off its “Winter Wonderland” menu for eight people, which costs $100, including wine.
Here are some other recipes to try that will cost around $12.50 per person:
Alcohol: The site suggests starting with Barefoot Bubbly from Trader Joe’s ($5/bottle).
For dinner you could serve two bottles of Santa Rita 120 Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 ($5/bottle at Trader Joe’s).
Wine total: $15
For appetizers, start with soft goat cheese on crackers with sliced pickled beets.
You’ll need to buy these:
1 Box Carr’s Cracked Pepper Thins $2.79
Soft chevre, 4-6 ounces $3.99
Pickled beets $5
Starter total: $11.78
Next, serve a creamy mushroom soup with bread. Leave the wild mushrooms and white wine out of the mushroom soup recipe–they’re too costly–and puree it after it’s simmered.
You’ll need to buy these:
Unsalted butter $3.49
1 large white onion $.99
2 heads garlic $1.50
1 package fresh rosemary $1.49
16 ounces white mushrooms $3.60
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock $3.59
Two baguettes $4.60
Soup total: $18
For the main course, serve Rosemary-garlic pork tenderloin with a fig-port cranberry sauce and Parmesan-roasted cauliflower.
The Rosemary-garlic pork tenderloin is an easy dish; just try this Epicurious recipe. Ditch the pricey prune sauce and serve a cranberry sauce with port and dried figs instead. Then top if off with roasted cauliflower with Parmesan made from this Elise recipe.
You’ll need the following:
Pork tenderloins, 2 pounds $16
Dried figs $4.99
Tawny port $7
Balsamic vinegar $2.99
Two heads of cauliflower $6
Main course total: $46
Dessert: Dark chocolate cake with red wine sauce. You can make the cake a day ahead from this Chocolate & Zucchini recipe, along with the red wine syrup. You make the syrup by simmering a bottle of red wine with sugar and spices you have around (cinnamon, cloves, maybe an orange peel) – although spices aren’t entirely necessary.
Dark chocolate $3.49 at Trader Joe’s
6 Eggs $1.99
Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon $3 at Trader Joe’s
Dessert total: $8.50
Grand total: $99.49 ($12.50 per person)
If you do your food shopping at a combination of cheap store likes Trader Joe’s, your local supermarket and farmer’s market, you’ll probably get away with an even cheaper price tag than the ones listed above.
Try combining a variety of Thanksgiving recipes from the Cheap, Healthy, Good blog.
To do the meal for $10.30 per person buy these:
Garlicky Broccoli Rabi: $3.39
Honey Glazed Carrots: $3.38
Seinfeld vs. Chase Lapine: $4
Brussels Sprouts with balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, pine nuts and apologies to Mr. Zimmerman : $6
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Food Phobias: $8
Southern Style Cornbread: $2
16-pound turkey $20
Grand total: $82.57
And there you have it! Happy Thanksgiving from the BI Your Money team.