Family Finance: Thanksgiving on a budget - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Family Finance: Thanksgiving on a budget

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The best advice: shop early to cash in on the biggest savings. The best advice: shop early to cash in on the biggest savings.

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. For those who haven't already started planning the menu, now is the to start shopping and take advantage of early sales.

Worried about rising costs this year while shopping? Fear not. The American Farm Bureau Federation said consumers can expect to pay only 28 cents more for this year's meal compared to last year's.

The most expensive item, of course, is the bird. Lucille Staley said she bought two turkeys for the price of one, and plans to save one for Christmas. Experts say that's the right idea, and the key is to shop early.

Jane Vogels has the same plan of attack.

"I've just been kind of buying along and along. I like to buy things on sale, and I'll just put it in the freezer."

When buying a turkey, it's crucial to remember that frozen is always cheaper than fresh. On the same note, generic poultry is usually always cheaper than name brand.

As far as vegetables and side dishes, cooking from scratch is always your best option. For example, when buying in bulk, fresh green beans are usually cheaper than canned or frozen. The same goes for stuffing, which, according to Savvy Sugar, can be marked up 40 percent.

The best advice: shop early to cash in on the biggest savings.

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