Thanksgiving, On a Budget

Finding gluten-free options for Thanksgiving dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy is not the only tricky part. It’s easy to get carried away with wanting to cook the most satisfying meals and bake delectable desserts during the holidays, but your wallet can take quite the hit. According to one study, gluten-free food items are 242 percent more expensive than gluten-containing foods. Luckily, these budget-friendly options can help you serve a delectable spread without breaking the bank.

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Pass on prepackaged food

Skipping prepackaged food typically means avoiding the gluten-free aisle altogether. Instead, shop for foods that are naturally gluten free—for example, rather than buying an overpriced packet of gravy mix, simply make your own with just a few ingredients. Instead of purchasing a boxed dessert in the gluten-free aisle, bake one from scratch. Omitting prepackaged food doesn’t just save you money, it also allows you to feed more people with fewer ingredients.

Incorporate whole foods

Not only will adding more whole foods to your Thanksgiving menu leave you with more money in your wallet, it’s also healthier. Rather than adding mashed potatoes and other carb-enriched foods, try putting more vegetables and fruits on your dinner table. Guests will get full faster, and you won’t have to worry about spending extra.

Plan out your menu

Sitting down and planning out your entree, sides and desserts can save you quite a bit of money. Think of how many servings of each dish you will be preparing, and only purchase what you need. It can be easy to go overboard during the holidays, but sticking to a list will help you meet your budget.

Heather Burdo is a health content writer from New York. Visit her at heatherburdo.com.

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