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With two major holidays around the corner, I know first hand how stressful it can be- both mentally and financially. I am always looking for ways I can save money during my holiday shopping. Our food bill used to be extremely high, especially during Thanksgiving. I love playing hostess. Being able to cook a delicious meal and enjoy the company of our family and close friends. However, it got pricey.  As our budget started to get tighter, I found great ways to shop that saved us money.

Here are five ways to save money this Thanksgiving:

5 ways to save money on Thanksgiving

Potluck (Bring your own dish):

Stressed about preparing all the food for Thanksgiving? We love having all our guests bring one dish to share. Instead of asking for a specific dish, ask for dishes like appetizers, desserts, side dishes, etc. That way people can get creative.

Shop Earlier:

Nothing like trying to shop at the last minute, especially for your Thanksgiving meal. It’s crowded, the lines are long, and chances are the item you are looking for is out of stock. Shop early and stick to your list. You can often find just as great of deals even if you don’t shop last minute and your stress level won’t be as high.

Keep it simple:

I understand you may want to impress everyone, especially if it’s your first year hosting, but the best way to save money is to keep it simple. No one will notice anyways.

Coupons/ Club membership:

Coupons are a great way to save money for obvious reasons. However if you have a Safeway, Randalls, Vons or Tom Thumb near you, utilize the Club membership. We often purchase what we need and save a ton of money just by using our Club Card. You can even pair coupons with it.

Store brand:

I seriously cannot stress enough to substitute with the store brand item! If you open up our cabinets almost every food item is store brand. During Thanksgiving I can easily save a lot of money just by substituting name brand items for a store brand product. It tastes the same, costs less, and your guests will never know.

I tend to stick to recipes while I shop for Thanksgiving. If you are looking for a side dish to make for Thanksgiving dinner, a great, cost-effective dish to make is this Butternut Squash Casserole created by Chef Jeff. I made this dish and not only was it easy, it was incredibly delicious!

 

Savory Butternut Squash Casserole

Ingredients

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  • 1 tbsp Lucerne® Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Lucerne® Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp Lucerne Heavy Cream
  • 4 cup butternut squash cubes
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup Open NatureTM White Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup honey-roasted pecans
  • 2 tbsp Safeway SELECT® Pure Maple Syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. To make sauce, add flour and butter to a saucepan and cook until flour is a light brown color. Add milk and heavy cream while whisking rapidly, then return to a simmer.
  3. In a buttered casserole pan, toss together butternut squash cubes, thyme, salt, and white cheddar. Pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.

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Serves 6.

Visit your nearest Safeway, Vons, Randalls, or Tom Thumb store this holiday season to make your holiday shopping easy and affordable.