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How to Cook a Holiday Banquet Without Going Broke

The Holiday Season is my favorite time of the year. There’s getting together with family, the general feeling of goodwill, and, of course, exorbitant amounts of delicious food.

However, the costs associated with putting together a fancy dinner for Thanksgiving or Christmas can make these special occasions more stressful than enjoyable. But this needn’t be the case. There are plenty of tricks and secrets you can apply in the kitchen to cut back on expenses and make a winning meal without the usual receipt-induced regret afterward. Just take a look at these.

Choose Chicken Over Turkey

When it comes to  holiday eating, having turkey seems to be inevitable. After all, that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? It’s tradition. But hey, sometimes traditions don’t make all that much sense.

Chicken is cheaper than turkey. It’s easier to prepare. And let’s face it–it tastes better. So save yourself the hassle of roasting that turkey all day long (and having to eat the leftover turkey for the next month) and buy some juicy chicken for your guests to chow down.

Make Your Own Dip With Affordable Ingredients

No holiday feast is complete without some scrumptious appetizers. And it’s possible to shave off the costs of pre-meal snacks without eliminating them altogether.

Try this: create your own tasty dip using inexpensive cheeses like ricotta or Feta. You can flavor it out fruit or honey. Then, instead of spending on crackers or the like for dipping, buy a baguette and slice it up yourself.

Replace Cocktails with Homemade Fruit Beverages

Wines, spirits, and the like are a nice complement to your holiday banquet, but they’re one of the most expensive items on your list. Instead, make your own drinks with fruits whose flavor is similar to your favorite cocktails. Grapes, pomegranate, and cranberries are all great choices. Your homemade drinks may be virgin, but they taste great!

Buy Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

Produce is more expensive when you buy it out of season. Veggies that are in season for both Thanksgiving and Christmas include cabbage, carrots, celery, potatoes, turnips, and winter squash. For fruits, try apples, bananas, lemons, and pears.

Check out this guide from the USDA for a more complete list of seasonal produce.

Make Your Own Gravy

An easy way to save a few dollars. All you need is unsalted butter, flour, and chicken stop. You can add salt, pepper, and cream according to your preference.

Use Large Fruits in your Desserts

Small fruits like cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwis usually cost more. Reduce your desserts expenditure by using large, more affordable fruits as the basis for your desserts. With apples, you can make a filling apple cobbler that easily feeds a big crowd. Same goes for peach. With bananas, try banana cream pie.


You see–there’s no need to go into debt in order to put together an impressive meal. Adapt these tips to your needs and you’ll fill up stomachs without draining your wallet!


Published inPersonal Finance

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