By Lauren Pastrana

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Thanksgiving is still just over a week away, but if you’re cooking the meal, chances are you’re already planning your shopping list.

And if you’ve ever bought a full Turkey Day dinner with all the fixings, you know it’s not cheap!

Today’s “Lauren’s List” has some tips for saving money on your Thanksgiving meal that will make your wallet very grateful!

  1. Manage Guest List- While leftovers are great, an easy way to save money on your meal is to not buy more than you need. The recommended portion is 1 lb. of turkey per person, so if you’re having 10 people over, a 10 lb. bird will suffice. Having an accurate head count will help you better plan out sides and desserts, too. And if you’re not expecting too many people, see if you can skip the disposable plates and cutlery.
  1. Consider The Past- If you’ve hosted before and know what gets eaten and what never gets touched, eliminate it from your menu! If no one ever touches the green bean casserole or the canned cranberry sauce, feel free to skip it this year. Just because it’s part of a “traditional” Thanksgiving meal doesn’t mean you have to waste money on something no one will eat.
  1. Look For Sales- This tip works even better if you have 2 or 3 weeks until the big day, but even with 8 days to go, shopping around for the best sales will save you money. Different stores offer different specials, and some places might even offer free turkeys! You just have to keep it frozen, but be sure to start thawing it 24 hours before your meal or you will have some very hungry friends and relatives next Thursday.
  1. Shop Your Cabinets- All those spices, seasonings and oils add up! You don’t want to serve a bland bird, right?! But before you head to the store, do an inventory of everything you already have. You don’t need new bottles if you have plenty at home. Check your canned goods too. I always have canned corn and even green beans on hand, so buying more would just be a waste!


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Lauren Pastrana