Valley Updates

Ideas to help you give thanks for less this year

Year after year, families and friends celebrate Thanksgiving while feasting and gathering to share the joy of the season. According to annual retail studies, consumers in the United States spent nearly $1 billion dollars on the turkey alone last Thanksgiving. With all of the excitement of the season, planning the big meal can be stressful and costly for the host. Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the festivities while saving time and money.

1. Buying all of the fixings: Plan out the meal, guest list and shop early for the ingredients needed. Last minute shopping can be extremely costly since you may have to settle for higher priced items to make the dishes you need. Don’t forget to scan the cabinets before you go shopping so you don’t buy items you already have on hand. Get prepared in advance to save yourself the stress of the long lines. Be sure to take a look at sales being offered at your local grocery stores and specialty stores before heading out. If you cannot find what you are looking for at a particular store find the store which has what you are in search of before you make your purchases. We’ve all been there, when you go to the store for one item and leave with a cart full, minus what you went for in the first place. Getting only what you need is the key to helping you save money.

2. Share the work: Some families decide to alternate which household will host major holiday gatherings. Although each household may get a turn to plan the meal and activities, why not share the work no matter which house is responsible. Treat the gathering like a potluck and have a sign-up sheet for who will bring what. To ensure all of the holiday favorites are present for the meal put together a list of the must haves to direct the dish bringing efforts. If someone is not comfortable with their cooking skills, they may have creative skills or purchasing skills. Let them make a decorative centerpiece or purchase the ice, ice cream, napkins or anything needed. Everyone can do their part and enjoy.

3. Leftovers for everyone: When you are hosting there is usually no shortage of leftovers to the point where some food may have to be thrown away. However, if you are not the host the next day can be sad because you don’t have any leftovers to enjoy. Why not share the leftovers with everyone. Before the gathering you can purchase food storage containers or ask your guests to bring a container for them to take food home with them. You will waste less food and money while making it so everyone can enjoy the delicious meal the second time around.

Here’s to giving thanks and having more money in your pocket when all of the guests go home. Above all, keep things simple. Enjoy spending time with loved ones and friends while being grateful for all you have. With Thanksgiving near it means the holidays are right around the corner. Don’t worry, Pioneer Valley Credit Union has you covered with our $1,000 Holiday Loan program.