It is that crazy, stressful expensive time of year. But planning for that holiday meal shouldn’t be on that list. Here are a few steps to help ease the process and cost:
- Clean out the refrigerator and freezer of unneeded or wanted items. This will make room for items for the big meal. Also it will let you know which items you already have and don’t need to purchase.
- Go through the pantry to double check items you may need for baking (flour, sugar, baking soda or powder) or additions to the main meal.
- Look through the grocery store flyers either in the paper on online. This will help to plan what you will make for your meal. For example turkey is at its lowest price around Thanksgiving, beef and pork roasts in December, and ham around Easter. The store flyer may have a coupon for more discounts.
- Have a good idea how much money you have budgeted for this meal, some adjustments can be made by the number of people attending. If you can’t swing a big meal keep it small and invite others over for dessert. Another way to reduce cost is to have guests bring side dishes and desserts. It really takes the financial burden off the host and everyone feels more involved in the meal.
- Keep your menu seasonal! Vegetables and fruits that are in the holiday’s season are the best choice to stay on budget.
- Finally stick to your shopping list and your plan. If you have questions about how much meat you will need for each guest talk to the store butcher, he/she will help you stay on budget.
For more resources, including recipes, visit https://efnep.uconn.edu.
By Erica Benvenuti
Moms from Grassroots Academy learned about saving money at the store while feeding their family healthier foods during a grocery store tour at Price Rite in Danbury last week led by EFNEP educator and dietitian Heather Peracchio and extension aide Juliana Restrepo-Marin. The tour was in partnership with the Cooking Matters at the store program.