Methods to Prepare dinner an Reasonably priced Thanksgiving Dinner in Denver

DENVER, CO – Every year Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family or friends to take stock and be thankful for all the good things in our lives. However, ask someone and they will likely tell you: It is a time to eat too.

The list is long. From turkey and stuffing to cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the quintessential classic dishes on your dining table.

The list is long, but also expensive.

Food costs are rising in the US. If you’re planning on cooking a typical Thanksgiving feast for 10 this year, it’ll cost you around $ 53.31, or less than $ 6 per person, according to an annual Farm Bureau survey. That’s 14 percent more than last year when the average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 was $ 46.90.

The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – will also cost you significantly more than last year. At $ 23.99 for a 16 pound bird, the cost of turkey is up 24 percent from 2020, the Farm Bureau said.

Additionally, when you factor in drinks, decorations, dishes, and other necessities, you could be paying just over $ 310 to feed a group of 10, according to a 1,000-person survey conducted by Lending Tree.

For some families, even the cost of food will be too high.

During the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people in the United States experienced food insecurity and starvation, many for the first time.

Before the pandemic, 35.2 million people in the US were considered food unsafe, according to Feeding America, the country’s largest food aid organization. This year that number could grow to almost 42 million people.

In 2019, around 9.8 percent of Coloradans – or 566,440 – were considered food unsafe, according to Feeding America data. About 75,240 of these people lived in Denver.

As the aftermath of the pandemic continues, Feeding America estimates that up to 98,780 Denverites could be starving.

The bottom line is that millions of families could see empty plates on their Thanksgiving dining tables.

But cooking Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to break the bank, especially if you’re planning on hosting a small group of family members over the holidays. While these may not help in every situation, there are tips, tricks, and shortcuts that will help US families enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner on a budget.

Here are a few:

Watch turkeys for free (or discounted)

Nationally, some grocery stores are recognizing the challenges U.S. families will face in 2021 and offering turkey and other Thanksgiving staples at extremely low prices. Some stores give away turkeys, while others throw one in when you buy a ham.

The Ibotta grocery saving app is also offering a plus in free turkey deals this year by offering the option of receiving a full Thanksgiving dinner for free. Just shop at Walmart and get 100 percent cashback on certain items purchased.

The following local organizations also help families put Thanksgiving staples on the table:

Shop early

Buy canned cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling and other canned foods in the week leading up to Thanksgiving when they are usually on sale.

Deviate from the classics

Creating your own Thanksgiving traditions can mean just as much, if not more, to your family.

Don’t feel like you need to cook turkey the traditional Thanksgiving way, especially since not everyone is a fan of turkey. (A survey by Instacart shows that a lot of people actually don’t like the classic turkey.) You can roast turkey legs, which are available for a fraction of the price of a whole bird. Also, instead of a classic turkey, grill turkey burgers.

You can also go rogue and leave out the turkey altogether. See what types of meat are on sale during Thanksgiving week and plan your menu accordingly. If it’s sausage or ground beef, have an Italian feast for Thanksgiving. If it’s chicken, make the chicken and pasta. Don’t feel bad about changing things.

Slow down, iron cook

Don’t waste time thinking about complex recipes that require dozens of ingredients. Stick to simple dishes that everyone loves. For example, you can make a simple baked corn that a lot of people love. Or you could make a simple sweet potato casserole, mashed potato, or green bean casserole. None of these require extremely fancy or expensive ingredients.

Plus, you don’t need a dozen ingredients for the food to taste spectacular. Certain ingredients make the difference: a lemon, an orange, and a few spices are enough when it comes to turning fried vegetables, cranberry sauce, and other dishes from ordinary to holiday-ready.

Do it BYOS (Bring Your Own Side)

As long as you let guests know in advance, most won’t mind bringing something for dinner. This leaves you solely responsible for the turkey, while potatoes, vegetables, cranberries and dessert can be assigned to other family members.

If you absolutely enjoy cooking the entire meal, consider sharing costs. Ask family members to contribute towards the total cost of dinner.

Not sure what to cook?

Here are some helpful roundups of budget-friendly Thanksgiving recipes:

If you can, donate

Maybe Thanksgiving dinner isn’t on your list of worries this year. If so, consider donating a Thanksgiving meal to local boards. The Feeding America network includes over 200 food banks across the United States working with pantries and soup kitchens to reach communities. Once you’ve found a grocery bank near you, check out drop-off information, hours of operation, and the most needed items.

Feeding America serves 200 member boards that supply and supply 60,000 pantries, kitchens, and meal programs across the country.

FIND FOOD
Find your local board

DONATE
Donate to Feeding America *

READ
“The effects of the coronavirus on food insecurity”

LAW
Take action against hunger

Patch photo / Shutterstock

Patch has partnered with Feeding America to raise awareness about millions of Americans who are starving. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that by 2021 more than 42 million Americans will insufficiently eat enough nutritious foods due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a social project run by Patch; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. * Find out how to donate in your community or find a pantry near you.

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