Ten Inexpensive Sides for Your Thanksgiving Meal


One of the best things about a Thanksgiving is often the side dishes that go with it. They add color, taste, texture and variety on the plate and they are also a really good way to save money. Plan on serving 4 to 8 ounces of turkey to your guests but let them load their plates and fill their stomachs with inexpensive side dishes.

Cooking Side Dishes from Scratch 

The side dishes will be the least expensive if you cook them yourself from scratch. We all love poppin-fresh dough, but it is far cheaper to whip up your own batch of flaky biscuits.

1. Flaky Biscuits

Biscuits are great as a bread on the side and perfect for mopping up gravy. They are warm, filling, and the smell when they bake really says it is holiday time.

2. Cornbread

Cornbread is another cheap, easy and filling option. Bake up a few pans of it to use as is, or in other recipes. Use any leftovers at breakfast the next morning.

3. Bread Stuffing

Bread stuffing is a great way to use up any stale bread you might have. Make sure it is dry, not moldy. Mix with herbs. Add onions, celery and broth and you have a filling dish to stuff a whole turkey with or serve on the side.

4. Cornbread Stuffing

You can also make stuffing using your own homemade cornbread. Cut it into cubes, toast them, and then cook as you would bread stuffing.

5. Green Bean Casserole

This is a staple on many American holiday tables. Most people make it using canned cream of mushroom soup and a can of French-fried onions, but you can make a cheaper and less salty version yourself from scratch. Just make your own soup with mushrooms, flour and milk, and batter the onions with a bit of cornmeal and fry up for a nice crunch.

6. Cranberry Sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce is easy to make and tastes much better than the kind that comes in a can. When making it yourself, you can adjust the sugar, add orange or apple juice for natural sweetness, and so on.

7. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

This cheerful orange vegetable is very cheap and will go a long way towards filling up your guests. Cook in the microwave like a baked potato and top with some brown sugar or cinnamon or boil up a pot to mash for a sweet potato casserole.

To the mashed sweet potato, add milk, butter, brown sugar and/or maple syrup, and cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake and eat as is or add a layer of marshmallows to the top and cook until just brown and puffy. Some people add a layer of apples in the middle to give the casserole a bit more texture.

8. Baked Potatoes

Nothing could be easier than some baked Idaho potatoes with butter, sour cream and chives, or cheese. They are cheap and filling and add a restaurant-touch to your homemade meal.

9. Potatoes au Gratin

If you want something a bit more elegant for your holiday table, slice up the potatoes thinly and cook them in a creamy cheese sauce.

10. Cream Corn/Corn on the Cob

Corn is very filling and eating from the cob can be a lot of fun. You can also eat with a little butter or make your own homemade creamed corn with milk.