Although it may seem too early to think about the Holidays, they are just around the corner. There are always special recipes and favorite foods that are only prepared for these holidays. For the most part, the ingredients are not things that are normally found in my pantry. And some items are expensive, but it wouldn't be the holiday, if I didn't prepare that special item. So, here is how I purchase these ingredients, yet save a little.
Starting in October, the big grocery stores start stocking items for Thanksgiving, as well as Christmas.I can't afford to purchase each ingredient right before I prepare the dish. Here is what I do:
Gather up your recipes that you KNOW you will be preparing, make a master list of those ingredients. Keep this master list in your purse, or in your clipped coupons.
Now, each time you go to the grocery, you can purchase a few of those special ingredients on your list. By purchasing a few each week, and putting them in the pantry, by the time the Holiday rolls around, most of the ingredients will already be in the pantry. By adding a few more dollars to my groceries each week, it won't break the budget.
Also, start looking in the Sunday newspaper advertisements for those great coupons for Holiday ingredients. Some of these things I only purchase at this time of the year. I use a white mailing envelope, write the name of the dish/recipe on the outside of the envelope. Write the main ingredients on the envelope too, you don't have to write exact amounts. Just the ingredients. If you find coupons that fit that recipe, put them in the envelope. Then when you shop, you know there are coupons for flour, spices or cake mixes. Some stores still double coupons on certain days. So you can get more for your coupon.
For instance, if I purchased everything to make Chex Mix at one time, it would be costly. But by buying a box or two, or the nuts, and pretzels a little bit along, it does not cost as much all at one time.
Also, magazines have lots of recipes and the coupons for an ingredient or two in the Fall Issues. Use these too. I have discovered that Wal-Mart usually has the lower price for some of the ingredients. Wal-Mart will honor the other grocery store's advertisement prices.
By Barbara from East Tennessee
This is an idea we all need to be thinking about this year.
Another thing to consider is holding a meal exchange where you make a set number of meals (based on the amount of people who sign up) and trade meals. Then your freezer will be full of delicious meals so you don't have to have turkey sandwiches the day after thanksgiving and no day will make you cry about having to cook during the holidays.
Good idea! I do something similar for hurricane season. About a month before hurricane season starts, each week I buy a little extra for my hurricane supplies.
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