Using the Holiday Season to save money on groceries is a smart way to help you stay on budget even after the holidays are over. There are many ways to take advantage of special savings that take place this time of year. Be intentional about your food spending and you’ll be stocked up for the coming year.
Everything about the Holiday Season is expensive. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. And, it doesn’t help that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all happen in the span of about 5 weeks.
Not only are we buying gifts for all our family and friends, but we’re attending parties, hosting parties, going to Christmas shows, buying fancy clothing, baking extra desserts, and making all kinds of fancy foods that we only get once per year.
It’s a lot of partying and celebrating all crammed together in a small space of time. The stores know it too, and you can use that to your advantage — they all want your money and are going to offer you all kinds of great deals to get you spending at their store.
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The Best Ways to Save Money on Groceries During the Holidays
I’ve been using the months of November and December to stock up on food for many, many years.
You’ll find food for your family at its lowest price. Which will give you a little win at a time when it’s hard to stick with your Christmas budget in all other categories.
Do you find it easy to stay on budget at Christmas time?
Watch For Sales
I make sure to watch the grocery flyers and rewards apps to get the best deals. If you’re not paying attention, you will completely miss out on all the special prices for both seasonal items and ingredients you can use all year long.
Each week, gather up your grocery adds and circle the items that you know are at their lowest. Usually, the best deals are loss-leaders, meaning the store will actually sell them at a loss in order to get you to shop in their store. The loss leaders will be your best deals.
If you don’t have time to run around from store to store, buying up the best groceries, choose the one store that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
My Favorite Reward Apps:
- Ibotta: When you sign up here, you can get a FREE $20 Welcome Bonus.
- Fetch Rewards: You earn rewards with this app every time you upload a receipt. I’ve been getting some groceries completely free, which is amazing! Go here to sign up and you’ll get 2000 points.
What Groceries Go On Sale for the Holidays?
There are certain foods that go on sale during the holiday season at prices you won’t find any other time of the year.
- Cream Cheese
- Chocolate Chips
- Cake Mixes
- Summer Sausage
- Apple Cider
- Chex Cereal
- Brussels Sprouts
- Green Beans
Turkeys and Hams
Most grocery stores will offer a free turkey after spending your grocery dollars in their store. Always take them up on this offer because 15-20 pounds of free meat will help you out in the months to come.
While ham is more expensive than turkey, you can find it for under $2.00 per pound, which is not a bad price to pay for meat. A single ham can be made into many meals, too.
And, Buy An Extra Turkey
You can usually find whole turkeys for less than $1.00/lb. Put one in your freezer and eat it sometime in the next few months.
Cook it up on a lazy weekend and you’ll have food to eat all week long. Don’t feel like you have to make all the fixings to go with it. It can be served with a simple salad, in sandwiches, soup, or in any casserole that calls for cooked chicken or turkey.
How to Save on Your Holiday Dinner
Holiday dinners can be really expensive, but they don’t have to be. Decide now how much you’re willing to spend on this meal, then make an effort to use the money-saving strategies below.
Potluck Your Holiday Dinner
When you’re hosting a big family dinner, let your guests contribute to the meal. There’s no need for you to do all the work and provide all the food. Most of the time, guests are perfectly happy to bring something along.
Related Article: How to Have a Budget-Friendly Holiday Meal
Eat those Leftovers
Don’t waste good food. This stands for every other time of year, but especially during the Holidays. Why go to all the work of making a meal, just to throw half of it out?
If you’re not a fan of leftovers, repurpose them into a dish your family will love.
Bake Your Own Desserts
You know all those baking ingredients you got on sale? They’re perfect for making your own desserts. Homemade desserts cost a fraction of what store-bought desserts cost.
Get Together for Dessert
If you want to cut back on the expense of a big holiday dinner, host people for dessert instead. This will actually free up your friends and family to have a more relaxed day, anyways. It could even take the pressure off for those that have to go to multiple houses on the Holidays.
More Ways to Stay on Budget for Groceries
Organize Your Fridge
How many times have you dug around in the produce drawer and found shriveled up carrots and lettuce that is disintegrating into mush? What about that lunch meat that is way past its prime?
Every couple of days, go through the fridge and eat up things that would otherwise go bad. This single practice will help you reduce your food waste by a ton.
Plan Simple Meals
Keep most of your meals simple through the season. Odds are, you’ll be pretty busy anyway and this will give you a little break when you’re otherwise pretty busy.
There will be plenty of opportunities for eating fancy meals and treats.
Read The Best Tips for Making Easy Dinners on Busy Nights and 7 Ways to Make Dinner Fast for some simple ideas.
Shop Your Pantry First
Inventory your pantry before you go grocery shopping and make a meal plan meals around what you already have.
As you can see, the Holidays are a great time to save money on groceries. Use the ingredients that are on sale to feed your family through the season, but also into the coming New Year.
You’ll be able to eat meals that are delicious and frugal at the same time. Take advantage of all the holiday food that goes on sale to have a wonderful season of celebration with your family.