Thanksgiving dinner and entertaining can be stressful and expensive for a host, but it really doesn't have to be!

Vicki Baker from Yakima's Grocery Outlet has some great time and money saving ideas to make your Thanksgiving dinner a success.

First, limit the number of side dishes by taking a vote from the family.  Sure, if you have made Aunt Edna’s sweet potato casserole since 1910, you might feel bad if you don’t…..because you will be breaking “tradition.”  But if nobody likes it, you are just wasting money.  So, take a vote and cut it down from 8 sides down to what is loved – maybe 4-5 sides.

Second, if you have guests, delegate!  Ask everyone to bring a side dish (ready to go or just needing warm-up)  or at minimum, assign the drinks or dessert.  This can save a ton of cash.

Third, plan your menu and write it down.  Then it won’t grow into a giant feast.  Treat it like a restaurant menu even, and dress it up by putting it on the computer and adding some graphics.   I’ve had lots of fun presenting my guests a menu with “Grandma’s Oyster Stuffing” or whatever is on the Baker menu.  Everyone gets excited to see what’s in store!

Fourth, don’t go overboard with appetizers.  This costs a lot, and ultimately everyone eats the snacks and is too full to eat dinner.  Just have a couple of small, lighter snacks.  (Like veggies and dip.)

Fifth, if you have relatives staying as guests, delegate a late morning breakfast to them!   They can cook up breakfast after you get the turkey in the oven, and you can maybe sneak in a little “REST” before Crunch Time.

Tomorrow, we'll have some tips from Vicki about cooking a great turkey.