No matter how many gifts we exchange for the holidays, the celebration and joy will always remain incomplete without the great dinner. There is just something about everyone coming together to enjoy a great feast that brings a deep and comforting warmth to the season.
The joy of having familiar faces around laughing and sharing stories is a momentary retreat from monotonous routine life, almost like stepping through a closet to the land of Narnia.
Quality time with friends and family can’t be measured with a price tag, but unfortunately dinner shopping is not cheap. The key here is to get the best meal for your family while still spending the most reasonable amount possible. You have to be savvy to do this successfully. Here is our list of top 10 holiday dinner menu items that can be bought cost-effectively to ensure you can feed your family well for holidays and still save a buck.
Roast Turkey: Turkey is one of the most traditional holiday dinner items,a very common centrepiece of the dinner table in the average American home. As one of my personal favourites, it always makes my mouth water as soon as I see it hit the table. Turkey shopping during the holiday season is always a challenge, and finding a juicy turkey at a great deal can be like winning a war battle. Usually during this season a lot of great deals and coupons are circulating the market, but you have to grab them before the good pieces vanish.
Baked Ham: Baked Ham is another popular meat for the holiday dinner table. Many Americans have just carved a turkey for Thanksgiving, which might make a baked ham a more preferable alternative for Christmas dinner. Keep your eyes peeled for good deals and coupons this time of year, particularly from retailers specializing in ham production. Honey Baked Ham usually offers coupons and special promotion codes during the holiday season.
Pasta: Pasta is a vague term that encompasses nearly endless possibilities. As a universally loved and cost effective dish (if you do it right), why not include a pasta dish on your table this year? Penne Pasta in white sauce is one of my personal favourites of all time. You can create your own white sauce using just milk, flour, butter and your cheese of choice. I usually add a package of frozen peas to this dish to add some extra flavour. Simple yet delicious.
Butternut Squash: Butternut squash is a healthy and tasty dish to add flavour to your holiday table. There are endless ways to cook a butternut squash, from roasting or steaming to making a casserole. This is actually the time of year that butternut squash is growing in the United States, so it’s a cost efficient addition to your holiday meal because you should be able to get an abundance of squash at any of your local food retailers.
Potatoes: A simple potato dish is essential to almost every American meal. This season, try roasted potatoes tossed with rosemary, black pepper, salt and other spices of your choice. The dish is relatively easy to cook and is liked by almost everyone. I suggest buying red skin potatoes so you don’t have to peal them. Simply slice, spice, and bake! Remember to stock up your spice rack before the holiday season begins. If you already have the spices you desire, the only cost out of your pocket for this dish is a bag of potatoes.
Cranberry sauce: The holiday meal is incomplete without cranberry sauce. My dad always used to stock up on fresh cranberries leading up to the holidays in order to provide the most delicious cranberry sauce. Homemade cranberry sauce can be made on the stovetop fairly easily using cranberries, sugar, and my personal favorite addition, some fresh apples as well. But even if you don’t have time to make a fresh sauce, your local grocery mart should have a broad collection of quick grabs for a tasty canned cranberry sauce.
Green Bean Casserole: Don’t forget to add something green to your holiday table! Green bean casserole is my sister’s favourite dish, so it’s an essential on my family’s holiday dinner. Using canned beans and dried onion mix, this is automatically one of the cheapest yet tastiest holiday dishes.
Corn: Corn is a very versatile side dish for your holiday meal: corn pudding, cheesy corn-and-grits casserole for a southern-style side, or a simple creamed-corn, and these are just a few suggestions. Canned corn is always a low-cost purchase, and you can use most of the same ingredients used in your pasta’s white sauce to complete the above-mentioned recipes, so you don’t have to buy additional ingredients. Milk, butter and cheese make almost every holiday dish delicious!
Pie: The warmest dessert for the coldest season. Everyone, despite their age, simply loves this home cooked treat. Apple pie is probably the best American classic desert. While it’s not too expensive to make from scratch, your local grocery store is almost certain to have a sale on frozen pies if you choose to go that route. Of course there are other versions of pie as well: pumpkin pie is easy to make from scratch, especially if you use canned pumpkin.
: Eggnog is the traditional beverage of the season. With brandy or dark rum, eggnog always brings a punch to the table, lightening the moods further in the holiday joy. Grab great coupons at your grocery store before someone else grabs great deals.
The day you get to gather for a holiday dinner with your family is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful days of the year. The important thing is to focus on enjoying time with loved ones, not stressing about the cost of the meal. I Hope this year you give your family the tastiest of dinners without having to think too much about your wallet. Keep your eyes open for coupon deals at the right time to make this holiday dinner a meal to remember.
Merry Christmas & Happy Shopping!
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