Healthy and Cost Friendly Ideas 

Picture of cornucopia filled with vegetables

Cooking the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner can be quite the task. There are many different jobs that go into getting ready for and fixing Thanksgiving dinner. Ann Berry, a professor and consumer economics specialist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, lends advice on some cost friendly ways to tackle Thanksgiving dinner.

The first step to preparing a cost friendly Thanksgiving dinner is to figure out what dishes you are planning on cooking. Once the menu has been decided, take a second to check the pantry to see what ingredients you need. When you have an idea of what you need, create a strict grocery list for you to go by as you go through the grocery store.

“By creating a strict grocery list, you are less likely to buy extra ingredients that you don’t need, which can reduce the amount of money spent on buying ingredients,” explained Berry.

After you have your grocery list made take a little bit of time to see which stores are offering the best “bang for your buck”. You won’t be able to hit every store that is running a deal, but you can compile a list of at least two stores that are offering a wide variety of deals.

“Another way to find a good deal in the grocery store is to exchange name brand for its generic equivalent for those ingredients that are lower in priority,” said Berry.

Another option for reducing the money spent on buying ingredients is to allow people to bring dishes. By getting guests to bring some of the side dishes it will ease up the stress on your wallet along with the stress of cooking so many dishes.

“Having guests bring a side dish for the dinner will not only help reduce the amount of money you spend on dinner, but also make your guests feel like they are able to contribute to the meal,” explained Berry.

The holidays are a very stressful and expensive time of year. These tips and tricks provide different ways to reduce the stress on you and your pocketbook. When there isn’t as much stress surrounding an event, you are able to relax and enjoy your company.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service.​.



Ann Berry, UTIA professor and consumer economics specialist, (865) 974-7349,​