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Here are some ways you can save money on your Christmas dinner

The holidays are usually an expensive time of year, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to have a good Christmas dinner.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Everyone tends talk about saving money on those big, occasionally daunting Thanksgiving meals but Christmas meals can be just as expensive.

That's especially true now with rising food costs, supply chain issues and shortages. We've got easy ways you can save big money on your holiday dinner and the whole holiday weekend.

Swapping turkey for chicken

Chicken costs a fraction of the price of a turkey at stores right now. But if you are dead set on turkey, buy a frozen one. That is typically cheaper. 

Also, don't buy a bigger turkey than you need. Experts say you shouldn't buy more than one to one and a half pounds turkey per person.

DIY as much as you can

It's tempting and even time saving to grab everything from precut veggies to premade cheese and meat boards, but it's not money saving. In fact, precut produce can be up to three times more expensive. 

Shop early and strategically

Shop in advance for essentials that you can freeze or store in the pantry. 

Be on the lookout for current grocery store ads to pick up the best deals before it's too late. Doing this now gives you time to visit multiple stores if needed to get the most out of your money.

Shop closer to Christmas for themed items

 As we get closer to the big day, supermarkets start to drop the prices of some surplus Christmas-themed food and drink, so you may be able to find some bargains.

Put your leftovers to work

Plan ahead for ways to use your leftovers to make additional dinners and lunches for the following week. You can use proteins to make soup in the crock pot, for example. 

You must member to freeze items you might not eat immediately so they don't go to waste.