A November 2019 Instacart Survey revealed that 59% of Americans say they would prefer to host Thanksgiving dinner so they can make the dishes they like. Whether you would lump yourself in with this group or not, if you are hosting this year, since Thanksgiving falls later in the month, you have a little bit more time to prepare. Planning ahead can not only save you money, precious time, and unnecessary frustration, but also gives you room to be a little more creative if you want to try something new.
There’s no need to break the bank on holiday décor. Making your own decorations can be as easy and affordable as you want it to be, even if you don’t consider yourself to be “the creative type.” For example, if you have an unscented candle, cinnamon sticks, any kind of ribbon or burlap you like, and a few other domestic staples, you can make your own beautiful and fragrant stick candles. You can use these as a table centerpiece or household décor that doubles as a festive fall air freshener! Here’s how to make them.
Pardon the Turkey
According to Instacart’s survey, of those who have hosted, 30% have served something other than turkey as the main dish. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that the best part about Thanksgiving is the side dishes. On a separate note, there’s also been more discussion as of late surrounding the positive impacts eating less meat can have on the environment. So, if you decide you can do without it, consider cooking up a bird-less feast, making the side dishes the main attraction while saving a pretty penny on what can often be the most expensive part of the traditional holiday meal.
Gobble Up Savings
If turkey will be on your menu, spend wisely. Many supermarkets offer free turkeys to customers who reach a certain spending threshold leading up to Thanksgiving. Some retailers also offer deep discounts to customers who have attained a certain number of store loyalty points. Keep in mind that frozen turkeys are usually less expensive than fresh ones; just be sure to allot enough time for it to thaw before cooking. Quick tip: every four to five pounds of meat requires approximately 24 hours in a refrigerator set at 40°F or below.
Include Your Guests
Asking your loved ones to pitch in by bringing a dish, dessert or drink is a wonderful way to bring everyone together. Not only does it help to alleviate the cost, but it frees up some of your time so you can spend it enjoying the day. It also provides guests with an opportunity to contribute something they likely enjoy and want to share with others.
Celebrate the Season
Some of the tastiest food is grown in the fall, just in time to enjoy it at your Thanksgiving table. You can incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into every part of the meal, from appetizers through dessert (and even leftovers)! Part of creating a smart and delicious menu is knowing what produce is in season. Seasonal produce is generally less expensive and certainly fresher than its out-of-season cousins. In late November in New Jersey, this includes apples, cranberries, brussels sprouts, turnips, winter squash, and more. Use this list to help you plan!
Sample the Local Fare
Farmers markets are a great resource for fresh, locally grown, affordable produce, and some are open throughout the fall and winter. For those of us in and around Bergen County, the Englewood Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Thursday until May at the Pioneer Plaza on the 300 block of West Dearborn Street. You may even end up finding some beautiful flowers or fall decorations to display at your holiday gathering! The best part of patronizing farmers markets is that you are supporting local businesses and families—something NVE Bank is proud to do every day.
NVE Bank supports our customers and communities with products, services, programs and events designed to help them learn, thrive, and achieve their goals. To learn about our extensive range of personal and business products and services, visit our website. You can also call us at 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) or visit us at one of our 11 branches conveniently located throughout Bergen County.