8 Affordable Alternatives to Expensive Holiday Foods

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Do you know how much your Thanksgiving dinner will cost you extra this year? CBS reported that historically, food prices have only increased 2% per year. This year, the United States government estimates that food prices will increase by 9.5% to 10.5%.

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With double-digit percentage increases predicted for holiday staples including turkey, potatoes, stuffing and canned pumpkin, many households are looking for cheaper ingredients to help maintain dinner budgets. festivals. Check out these alternatives to more expensive holiday foods.

Instead of cooked ham, buy slices of smoked ham

The price of a Honey Baked or Spiral Sliced ​​Ham can cost anywhere from $25 to $75 or more. Families who buy ham for holiday meals often end up with far more than they need.

Instead of buying a whole ham, buy slices of smoked ham in the amount you need, said Matt Johnson, founder of Cook Like a Master. Johnson said the Simple Truth sliced ​​cured ham is currently $1.25 a pound at Kroger. Choosing to buy slices of smoked ham inside a whole ham can help you cut your costs in half.

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Find a discount Turkey

If you shop at the wrong time, or at a grocery store or supermarket that has no deals, turkeys can be very expensive. Households don’t necessarily need to swap the turkey if they really want it for Thanksgiving. Instead, they have to search and find promotions.

Johnson uses the example of Kroger turkeys, which are currently 60% off with the purchase of $25 worth of groceries. Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is also offering a free turkey with the purchase of $50 worth of groceries.

Don’t live near one of these supermarket chains? If you’re a Costco member, consider getting Butterball Antibiotic-Free Boneless Turkey Breast the next time you shop. Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com, said while it’s not the cheapest Thanksgiving item — around $20 for just under 5 pounds of meat — it’s a solid choice for families looking for smaller turkeys.

Instead of holiday roasts, buy beef stew meat

Christmas roasts often use high-quality cuts of meat like tenderloin or sirloin, said Kelsey Lorencz, RDN, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for Fin vs Fin. However, these cuts can cost between $10 and $30 per pound.

Instead, consider serving beef stew meat that has been slow-cooked all day or pressure-cooked. “It will be just as tender at a much better price,” Lorencz said.

Swap Charcuterie Board Ingredients

They’re an instant crowd pleaser with guests ready to snack before the big meal, but charcuterie boards can easily eat up $50-$100 off your budget if you decide to splurge on expensive cheeses and meats. artisanal.

Johnson recommends being financially savvy with the items you add to your charcuterie board. Replace the more expensive board staples with these alternative, inexpensive items that allow you to retain the snacking experience.

  • Skip the artisanal meats and opt for hard salami ($3.85/8 ounces at Aldi), Genoa salami ($3.75/8 ounces at Aldi) and Salame Italiano ($4.39/3 ounces at Aldi).

  • Swap cheese balls instead of fancy block cuts. “A sharp cheddar cheese ball and a port cheese ball will only cost you $2.19 each at Aldi,” Johnson said.

  • Instead of crostini, get an assortment of crackers like the Savoritz assortment ($3.85/13 ounces at Aldi).

  • Cut apple slices ($2.50 for two apples at Aldi) and space them around the tray for filling.

  • Add Honey Roasted Peanuts ($2.15 at Aldi) as a final addition to the whole platter.

“The total is $24.87 for a board that can provide five to six people with a happy snack before or during dinner,” Johnson said.

Instead of mixed nuts, make a snack mix

The mixed nut dishes not only go quickly with hungry guests, but they cost around at least 60 cents an ounce.

Instead, Lorencz recommends making a mix of savory snacks. Pair mixed nuts with budget-friendly ingredients like house brand crispy rice cereal and chocolate candies.

Opt for frozen berries instead of fresh

Make a dessert that requires fruit as a garnish? Consider replacing fresh berries with frozen berries. Frozen berries are already prepared to make the cooking experience easier and tend to be more affordable than fresh berries.

Skip Fresh for frozen vegetables too

Similar to buying frozen berries instead of fresh berries, see how many frozen vegetables you can get for nutritious holiday side dishes. Walmart, for example, sells Great Value frozen green beans for 88 cents a bag.

Swap sparkling apple cider for booze

If you’re worried that booze will add to the cost of your holiday dinner budget, consider getting a few bottles of sparkling apple cider.

Ramhold said shoppers can get four 25.4 fluid ounce bottles of sparkling cider for less than $13 at Costco. This festive drink can be enjoyed by everyone at the table and is a great alternative to wine or soda options.

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