Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving on the Cheap

On the news this morning there was a segment about how to host a "cheap" Thanksgiving and the best the reporter could come up with was to buy Wegman's Pre-made Thanksgiving dinner for $99.

Well, I don't cook Thanksgiving dinner, my mother-in-law does, so this really isn't a concern of mine, but that got me thinking. $99 does not seem that cheap to me. In fact, I am SURE that I could do better out of the supermarket flyers sitting on my kitchen counter.

So let's try, shall we?

Wegman's Premium Turkey Dinner contains:

1 turkey (12-14 pounds)
Traditional Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Turkey gravy
Broccoli and Cauliflower with pine nuts
Mashed potatoes
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Relish

Ok, let's break it down (and we'll assume that the person doesn't like to cook since they are looking at buying a pre-made dinner)

Turkey -- for me it would be free, I qualify at my supermarket = $0
Stuffing -- Stove top is $.99 a Walmart x 2 boxes = $2
Green Bean Casserole -- Frozen green beans $1.00 a bag , cream of mushroom soup, $.79, French fried onions, $2.59 (couldn't find a sale) = $3.40
Turkey gravy -- $1 a can x 2 = $2
Broccoli & Cauliflower with pine nut -- $10 (pine nuts are expensive and $3.00 per lb. for fresh veg.)
Mashed potatoes -- $2.50 for 5 pounds = $2.50
Sweet potatoes -- $2.50 for 5 pounds $1.00 for mini marshmallows = $3.50
Cranberries -- $.88 a can at Walmart x 2 (1 jellied, 1 chunky) = $ 1.76

Ingredients you might not have on hand:

Butter -- $2.50 per pound
Heavy Cream -- $2.00 per pint

Total == $29.66

Now, I am assuming you already have spices, onions, milk, kitchen basics, etc. but... I think you see my point.

The "Cheap" dinner being hocked on my local news is $69.34 more expensive than what I could put together from sale circulars (and that isn't even using coupons!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,

I noticed your "Thanksgiving On The Cheap" post and thought the following information might be interesting to you and your readers – especially with money being tight this year - on how to host a holiday party for 20 guests for under $100.

I work with BJ’s Wholesale Club and they offer a variety of ways to fit holiday entertaining into a limited budget without sacrificing quality. In fact, members can save money – more than 30 percent over supermarket prices – on food and save even more using manufacturer’s coupons…and BJ’s is the only warehouse club to accept manufacturer’s coupons. For a free shopping pass, you can go to http://www.bjs.com/join/one_day_pass.shtml

With so many people on limited budgets, now is the time to think informal with gourmet appetizers that are short on prep time and long on taste. For a holiday party for 20 people, 10-12 pieces per guest will be plenty to keep them and your pockets filled. This menu is so simple and inexpensive that even inexperienced cooks can pull it off. All the host has to do is bake the pre-made appetizers in the oven and transfer these easy-to-prepare foods onto holiday serving dishes and voila – guests will think the entire day was spent in the kitchen preparing.

The holiday party menu for 20 guests for $97.11 includes:

Hearty Hors d’Oeuvres

The Perfect Kitchen Co. Kiss Combination which includes 12 Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Tartlets and Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Kisses ($11.99 each)
Black Tie Chicken Peanut Satay (25 count) which includes skewers of white-meat chicken marinated with fresh peanuts and Thai spices ($13.99)
Smithfield Signature Party Tray by Paula Deen (serves 12-15) which includes Smoked Sausage in Sweet and Mild Sauce, Chicken Wings in Caribbean-Style Sauce and Meatballs in Barbecue Sauce ($15.99)

Decadent Dips

Legal Sea Foods® Crab and Lobster Dip ($7.99)
TGI Fridays Spinach Artichoke Dip ($11.99)
One box of Keebler Club Crackers ($5.19)

Irresistible Endings

Fruit Tray which includes Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew, Grapes and Watermelon ($10.99)
The Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake ($11.99)
Wellsley Farms Baking™ 9” Sweet Potato Pie ($6.99)

For more information, please feel free to email me or give me a call at 561-998-1995.



Jackie Guzman

Senior Account Executive

Tilson Communications


(561) 998-1995