Save Money on Holiday Cooking

By Kennedi Rose / December 22, 2012

Most people associate Thanksgiving with hearty meals (and hefty grocery bills), but holiday cooking doesn?t end there.

For many people, December is filled with holiday parties and family get-togethers involving large, home-cooked meals.

Unfortunately, holiday cooking costs money. And you’re broke from buying presents. How can you cut down your holiday food bill?

#1: Buy Seasonal Ingredients

You don’t need to serve pineapple, tomato or citrus fruits in the middle of winter. Buy and serve foods that are abundant (and cheap) at this time of year: butternut squash, pomegranates and pumpkin are good choices for vegetables and fruits.

#2: Ask Guests to Bring Drinks or Snacks

Maybe you don’t want to throw a potluck, per se, but you can still ask guests to bring a beverage such as wine, sparkling cider or eggnog. You can also ask them to bring dessert or an appetizer.

#3: Heat Many Dishes at Once

Your electricity bill jumps when you host a dinner party. Try cooking several dishes in the oven at the same time, to reduce your energy costs.

Turn on the oven light to check on your food, rather than opening the oven door. This helps keep heat inside the oven, which also reduces your energy use.

#4: Cook Foods That Keep for a Week or More

Don’t cook or prepare foods that have a short “shelf life,” which means they’ll spoil quickly. Guacamole, for example, spoils fast, even if its refrigerated.

Stick to foods that will keep as leftovers long enough for you to finish eating them. Cheese dips, for example, keep for a long time.

About the author

Kennedi Rose

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