Five last minute money-saving tips for Thanksgiving

The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionNovember 26, 2013 

While shoppers — or maybe just me — have been focused on Black Friday, there is a holiday happening in a couple days. If you haven't already prepared for Thanksgiving by buying items for your gathering as they've been on sale, you may have to work harder to cut costs.

Get moving with these quick tips and visit websites such as Savingsangel.com, Money Talks News, Grandparents.com for more ways to save.

■ Shop your pantry. See if you already have items you need for your recipes at home or if there are items you can substitute for other ingredients rather than buying more. Shop store brands, smaller stores and ethnic markets.

■ Use smaller plates. This one made me laugh, but really, we do eat a lot on Thanksgiving. Using smaller plates will trick guests into thinking they've had more to eat, while helping them avoid that Thanksgiving Day coma.

If you must buy additional ingredients, store brands generally offer the same quality as name brands but at a lower cost. Get last minute basic ingredients, spices and grains at smaller grocery stores or ethnic markets.

■ Go outside to get your decor. DIY decorations from nature are quick and will help you save money. Gather leaves, twigs and acorns to create a centerpiece. Turn drinking glasses or mismatched stemware upside down and top them with tea lights.

■ Trim turkey costs. Choose one meat — Turkey is pretty much a requisite but lamb, ham and ribs are not. Turkey is the one item you may be better off buying this week. Many stores put Turkeys on sale so comparison shop even at stores you may not typically frequent.

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