These days, most of us are looking to save money in any way we can, and Thanksgiving is no exception. The cost of a feast to feed a crowd can add up quickly, but there are a few things you can easily trade out to lower your total at the grocery store. The experts at the Food Network recommend these food swaps to help you save on your Turkey Day dinner.
- Cook a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey - If you’re feeding a smaller group, try swapping a whole bird for turkey breasts. They not only cost less, they’re a lot easier to roast, too. Turkey breast cutlets or tenderloins are also less expensive options that are as easy to cook as chicken.
- Swap frozen veggies for fresh - Vegetables are expensive, especially if they’re out of season. But frozen vegetables are flash frozen when they’re at the peak of freshness, so you still get all the nutrients with a lower price tag.
- Simmer some mulled wine - Use up leftover or cheap wine by turning it into mulled wine. Start with a bottle that’s less than $10 and simmer it with a bunch of warm spices to add to the flavor and suddenly you’ve got an easy, custom cocktail that seems pretty fancy. Need a recipe? Try Ina Garten’s Mulled Wine.
- Use cheaper nuts instead of expensive ones - If your stuffing calls for pistachios or pine nuts, the food experts say it’s just fine to use walnuts or almonds in the recipe instead. No one will taste the difference and they’ll cost you a lot less.
- Buy potted herbs instead of fresh ones in the grocery store - Those tiny clamshells of herbs in the produce section are notoriously expensive and you don’t get much in there. But if you need several different herbs for your Thanksgiving dishes, try buying potted varieties from a local nursery, which cost less and will provide herbs for many meals in the future.
- Make your own chicken stock - If you’re making stuffing and gravy, you’ll need a lot of broth and that can be expensive. But it’s easy and a lot cheaper to DIY some homemade stock that has all the flavor you need. Food Network’s recipe for The Best Chicken Stock calls for very specific herbs and veggies — but it’s fine to use the same amount of what you have on hand.
- Use dried mushrooms instead of fresh - Dried mushrooms last a long time, plus they have more flavor than fresh, so you can use less and get the same result. Swap about three ounces of dried mushrooms for every pound of fresh.
Source: Food Network