Here is Part 2 in my Ultimate Stress-Free Guide to Planning Thanksgiving blog post series. Today is all about taking your Thanksgiving meal plan, and then learning how to grocery shop and save money while doing so! Be sure to snag my FREE Thanksgiving Planner printable so you can use the Thanksgiving shopping list printable for this lesson!
You know what it’s like…
You’re at the grocery store with your pretty vague Thanksgiving grocery list…
You fill your cart up with the things on you list, plus more…
You head to the checkout line and the cashier reads you your total…
Yep, been there, done that, but it doesn’t have to always be like that.
With my 4 easy, yet effective tips, you will be on your way to saving money on your Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip like a pro!
Let me teach you how.
How to save money while Grocery shopping for Thanksgiving!
Following my 4 -part method when it comes to grocery shopping, will greatly impact the amount of money you spend on your Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip. Let’s dive in!
Step #1- Meal Plan
By now, you should have read PART 1 in this Thanksgiving series, therefore you should already have your meal plan planned, printed out, and ready to go.
If you haven’t done so, head on over to part 1 for my tips, and then come back here.
Don’t forget to download my FREE Thanksgiving planner PDF printables to help you!
When you choose to meal plan, what this does is it helps you stay on track with your grocery budget spending because you will ONLY be shopping for the specific Thanksgiving meals you have planned.
Do not skip this Thanksgiving meal planning step!
Step #2- Inventory Check
Now that you have your Thanksgiving meal plan, you are now going to do an inventory check in your kitchen.
Grab all your recipes that you will be making for Thanksgiving and lay them on the counter.
Start with one recipe at a time, and check ALL ingredients needed for that one particular recipe.
Go through your pantry, fridge, freezer, spice cabinet…etc.
Tip- If a recipe calls for ½ teaspoon nutmeg, you are literally going to write down on your Thanksgiving Grocery list printable…
>> ½ teaspoon nutmeg <<
Trust me on this.
There is no need to buy a whole jar of nutmeg, when you only need ½ teaspoon.
If you need ¼ cup of mayonnaise, write down the ¼ cup of mayonnaise.
But if you need ¼ cup of mayonnaise, and you have ¼ cup of mayonnaise at home, don’t write down mayonnaise!
Now, if you get to another recipe, and that particular recipe calls for 1 cup of mayonnaise, you will now change the mayonnaise portion on your grocery list to 1 and 1/4 cup of mayonnaise.
The more specific you get with the amounts, the more you will save on your Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip.
Do this for every single recipe, and every single ingredient you do not currently have in your home and write them down, down to exact amount, on your Thanksgiving Grocery List printable.
Don’t skip this step, as it’s crucial to saving money on your Thanksgiving Grocery shopping trip, and write it down on your Thanksgiving shopping list PDF (which you can download in this post)!
#3- Set your budget!
This can be tough if you aren’t familiar with setting a grocery budget and sticking to it.
To make it easier for you, start out with estimating the larger items you need to purchase, such as the Thanksgiving turkey or Thanksgiving ham. These will usually run you around $20-$35.
I always like to give myself some wiggle room, so let’s say $35.
Now continue to go through your list and estimate the cost of everything else, for instance:
- 5 potatoes will be $1.50
- 3 carrots will be $0.50
- 2 loaves of bread will be $4.00
And continue until you get everything estimated to come up with a total number.
Once you have that estimated number, add about $20 more dollars on top of that, and get ready for the next step!
#4- Go grocery shopping!
Now that you have your Thanksgiving grocery shopping budget set, I want you to have that amount in cash.
Cash is so amazing when it comes to staying within budget, as once the cash is gone, you can’t spend anymore.
Just try it!
So you have your cash in hand, and now you’re headed to the grocery store.
This is where things get really nitty and gritty if you want to frugally shop for your Thanksgiving meal and stay in budget.
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tip #1- Stick to the list!
As you’re grocery shopping for your Thanksgiving meal plan, stick ONLY to the Thanksgiving grocery list you have.
I repeat, stick onto to the grocery list… for now!
Snag my FREE Ultimate Thanksgiving Planner
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tip #2- Go with cheaper
Let’s say your grocery list calls for ¼ cup of mayonnaise, and you only need ¼ cup of mayonnaise.
And Brand (a) sells a small jar of mayonnaise (enough for how much you need) and it’s $1.29.
And then you notice that Brand (b) sells a large size mayonnaise, let’s say, double the size, and it’s $2.00.
Well in theory…
Yes, it makes more sense to buy the large mayonnaise for $2.00.
However, in the spirit of staying super frugal and on budget, you need to literally go with the smaller jar!
Trust me! Those little cents here and there add up really quickly!
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tip #3- Use the bulk section when you can!
Back to the nutmeg example.
If you only need ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, it makes NO sense to go buy the $3-$5 bottle of nutmeg, when you can go to the bulk section and get a small spoonful for $.07.
Bulk sections are great for dried goods like flours, nuts, dried fruit, spices, herbs, and so much more. Perfect for all those Thanksgiving baking recipes!
Listen, my friends, if you want to stay frugal and within the budget on your Thanksgiving shopping trip, then utilize the bulk sections!
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tip #3- Keep track of how much you’re spending!
When you are doing your Thanksgiving grocery shopping, make sure you bring another sheet of paper to keep track of your costs.
As you get an item off your grocery list, you are going to cross it off your Thanksgiving grocery list, and then on the separate sheet of paper, write down the total cost of that item, and always round up!
- If the jar of pickles is $1.93, I will write down $2.
- If the 3 potatoes are $0.59, I write down $1
…and then continue adding the numbers together. You know, basic addition. 😅
This gives you some wiggle room, and will help keep you in check when it comes to your Thanksgiving grocery shopping budget.
Bonus Thanksgiving shopping trip tip!
Once you’re done getting everything off your Thanksgiving grocery list, check your calculations of how much everything is estimated to cost, and compare that to your Thanksgiving shopping trip budget.
Finally, head to check out without grabbing extra stuff, and let that little bit of extra money roll over onto next time’s grocery shopping trip.
That’s what I do!
There you have it folks!