Preparing a good Thanksgiving dinner on a budget is possible according to BYU public health education alumna Becky Blad.
Blad started her food blog Love to be in the Kitchen six years ago after she started having children. She said her blog has quick, easy and budget-friendly recipes.
She held her own budgeted Thanksgiving dinner years ago for a party of two: herself and her husband. Both of their families were out of town, so Blad said the young couple learned to keep Thanksgiving simple.
“You can go crazy with so many dishes, but you can really only eat so much food,” Blad said.
Students should pick the dishes they want the most to help them save money and fridge space, according to Blad. She and her husband chose to buy turkey breasts instead of a full turkey. They also decided on mashed potatoes and cranberry salad.
“We cooked (the turkey breasts) in our slow cooker that Thanksgiving, and it was good,” Blad said.
She suggested students keep their sweet tooth in check by making only one or two pies.
BYU family life junior Julie Hall said purchasing Thanksgiving ingredients early on can also relieve some budget stress.
Blad also felt planning the menu ahead of time is smart for students on a budget.
“This will give you time to find the recipes you need and the best sales at the stores. Also you can plan which recipes can be made ahead of time,” Blad said.
BYU family life professor Jeff Hill said making meals from scratch is less expensive and healthier for students.
“For example, making a pie from scratch instead of buying it from Kneaders will save you a ton of money,” Hill said.
Hill also said students should use store websites to compare the prices of different Thanksgiving dishes at stores.
Some stores use a pricing strategy called loss leader pricing during Thanksgiving, according to Hill. This means stores dock prices of Thanksgiving dishes to incentivize shoppers to buy other products from the store to make up for the loss of the discount.