Thanksgiving on a student budget

Reading Time: 2 minutes A Thanksgiving dinner can be made with just $30.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
By Tyson & Sherri Peterson
Thanksgiving dinner, the warm and tender turkey, the hot and fluffy stuffing, the smells, sights, sounds and memories. Are you spending Thanksgiving with your family at home, or are you stuck fending for yourself?

My wife Sherri and I have had our share of preparing meals on a small budget. Working together, we’ve tracked down the best deals to help you cook your Thanksgiving dinner on a starving student budget. Luckily for me, my wife, who graduated from UVU in culinary arts, is not only extremely skilled at cooking, but she also has a keen eye for a bargain.

“Money doesn’t have to stand in the way of great food,” Sherri said, “but you might have to work a little harder. It will be worth it in the end.”

The traditional Thanksgiving dinner usually consists of turkey, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy and candied yams or pumpkin pie. When your mom did the cooking, you didn’t have to worry that it cost her upward of $50, but now that you’re a starving student with a small budget, you don’t have fifty bucks. No need to worry, you can get all of this for under $25.

Shop at Buy Low Market and Walmart, since they not only have great prices, but they also do price matching, so no matter which store you chose you will get the best price. Here’s our list of the cheapest prices:

  • Frozen whole turkey: 78 cents a pound at Walmart
  • 10 lb bag of potatoes: $1.50 at Buy Low Market
  • 3 lbs of yams: $1.00 at Buy Low Market
  • Stove Top stuffing: 88 cents at Buy Low Market
  • Cranberry sauce: 78 cents at Buy Low Market
  • 10 oz of frozen corn: 77 cents at Buy Low Market
  • Bag of salad: $1.50 at Buy Low Market
  • Can of gravy: 79 cents at Buy Low Market
  • Pumpkin pie: $3.99 at Buy Low Market

If you were to get everything on this list your total would come to around $25. If you want to go even cheaper, you can get a smaller chicken instead of turkey or instant pudding instead of pie. Another great idea is to use your starving student card. If you don’t want to cook you can go to any of the fine restaurants that offer discounts on your card. Even if you just want dessert, there are many options on your card.

Now that you’ve got the ingredients together, here are a few tips for cooking your meal.

Make sure to baste your turkey well so that it’s juicy instead of dry. Usually, you want to do this with butter and the juices that come out of the turkey. Also make sure to let your turkey thaw completely out before you cook it — follow the instructions on the package. Another great tip is if you love candied yams you can use brown sugar or syrup. Just mash the yams once you’ve peeled and boiled them and then just pour the syrup right over the top.

Most important of all, no matter where you’re eating Thanksgiving this year, remember to give thanks and enjoy all the wonderful food.

Tyson Peterson, Life writer can be contacted at [email protected]

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