Cheap Dishes to Bring for Thanksgiving
When it comes to Thanksgiving, one of the most cherished aspects of the holiday is the opportunity to gather with loved ones and share a hearty, delicious meal. While traditional Thanksgiving feasts often feature elaborate and indulgent dishes, there's also room for creative and cost-effective alternatives. In this introduction, we'll explore the concept of bringing cheap dishes to Thanksgiving gatherings, focusing on how these dishes can offer a budget-friendly yet delightful contribution to the celebration. Whether you're looking to save money, accommodate various dietary preferences, or simply add a unique twist to the holiday spread, inexpensive dishes can play a significant and welcome role in making Thanksgiving memorable.
Let's face it, the holidays is the time of year to get broke. Sometimes families will even budget for Thanksgiving to make sure they are ready to feed as many people as possible. At the end of the day, you will be spent and tired of making turkey that no one will eat making it worse. Although we may not be able to help with making the dishes, we can certainly tell you which ones are the most cost-effective.
But first, we must talk about what makes certain dishes cheap to began with. This could be an array of things but to sum it down there are four core components.
Government Subsidies: In some countries, governments provide subsidies to farmers, which can help reduce the cost of production for certain crops. These subsidies can lead to lower prices for consumers. Currently, five commodity crops are particularly heavily subsidized by the US government—corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and rice as explained by straydoginstitute.org.
Economies of Scale: Large-scale production and distribution of food can significantly reduce the cost per unit. When food is produced and distributed in large quantities, the cost per unit (such as per pound or per kilogram) decreases because fixed costs, like equipment and facilities, are spread out over a larger number of units. This is often the case with staple foods like rice, wheat, and potatoes.
Competition in the Market: A competitive marketplace can help keep prices low. When multiple producers and retailers are vying for consumers' business, they often lower their prices to attract customers.
Long Shelf Life: Foods that have a longer shelf life are often cheaper because they can be stored and distributed over longer periods without spoilage or waste. Canned goods and dried foods are examples of items with longer shelf lives.
For more context, below is a chart of the most food commodities produced worldwide as of 2021 by Statista.com. This chart is wildly important because high production correlates well with lower prices assuming none of the commodities are owned by monopolies. From the information above and below, we can start to carve out ideas one which types of dishes will be the cheapest to make for thanksgiving.
Cheap Dishes for Thanksgiving
Mashed Potatoes: as one of the most produced food commodities on earth, mashed potatoes is one of the most inexpensive dishes to make for any party and pairs well with almost every savory combination that you can think of. Don't forget the addition of classic options like turkey, beef, or vegetarian gravy. On Amazon, packaged Betty Crocker Creamy Butter Mashed Potatoes are selling for $12 for a pack of 8, this comes down to $1.50 per pack. Mind you each pack can feed four people which is great in terms of cost.
Green Bean Casserole: Green bean casserole is a classic and popular side dish, especially during Thanksgiving. It consists of green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions. Since green beans are also categorized as soybeans, the production score puts it right under potatoes so you can expect low prices on this dish. On Amazon you can find Del Monte canned green beans for as little as $1.5 a can or cheaper.
Corn Bread: With corn being categorized under the maize family, we can expect extremely cheap prices on it. Dishes that include corn is Cornbread, a delicious and popular side dish with a slightly sweet and crumbly texture. It's a great accompaniment to various meals, including barbecues, chili, or as a Thanksgiving side. You can buy cornbread & muffin mix for $3 a box at Amazon Fresh. Although some mixes don't contain corn meal, feel free to add it for extra authentic favor.
Deviled Eggs: also known as stuffed eggs or angel eggs, are a popular appetizer or side dish. They are made from hard-boiled eggs that have been cut in half, and the yolk is removed and mixed with other ingredients to create a flavorful filling. This dish was added because of how inexpensive eggs are compared to other foods. Amazon sells Happy Belly Cage Free eggs (18-count) for $5 pushing the cost per egg at $0.30. Keep in mind that you will definitely find cheaper eggs elsewhere either at discount markets or seasonal sales.
Apple Pie: Apple pie is a classic American dessert made with a flaky pie crust and a sweet and spiced apple filling. Also on the list of most produced food commodities, apples should be included in any gathering. Can be purchased fairly cheaply with a premade Sara Lee Apple Pie (34 oz) for $8. With each slice weighing 4 ounces, you can expect to feed 8 people with one 34 oz pie.
Cucumber Pasta Salad: Cucumber pasta salad is a refreshing and light salad that combines pasta with fresh cucumbers, a tangy dressing, and various other ingredients for added flavor and texture. Honestly, one of my favorite dishes to prepare for any get-together. With Cucumbers and Pasta being fairly cheap, you can toss this dish together for less than $8. Keep in mind that just by changing the ingredient from normal mayo to vegan mayo, you instantly get a vegan-based dish ready for guests who have dietary restrictions.
Spaghetti: a classic Italian pasta that's popular worldwide. It's often served with a variety of sauces, ranging from simple marinara to rich and complex meat-based sauces. With tomatoes and pasta being cheap, you will never break the bank making this dish. Organic Tomato Basil Sauce can be purchased at Amazon for $4, If you decide to buy non-organic, it's even cheaper.
In conclusion, bringing cheap dishes to Thanksgiving gatherings is not only a practical choice but also a creative way to contribute to the festivities. While the traditional Thanksgiving feast is known for its abundance and extravagance, there's a place for budget-friendly options that can be just as satisfying. By preparing inexpensive yet flavorful dishes, you can enhance the variety of flavors and textures on the Thanksgiving table, cater to various dietary needs, and ensure that everyone can enjoy a memorable meal without breaking the bank.