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How To Cheaply Cook Thanksgiving Dinner In Under An Hour

In recent years, there’s been a noticeable lifestyle shift that puts “efficiency” and “practicality” at the top of our 'must' lists. We’re always keeping our eyes open for the fastest/easiest/least expensive techniques to help us live our lives, and the holidays are no exception.

Though, it’s still a common mindset to think Thanksgiving dinner is impossible to “hack.” This traditional event has always been known as one of the more difficult ones to pull off, especially from a host’s or cook’s perspective. You need the necessary skill, time, and cash to do it right, or at least, that’s what you thought.

This year, we’re going to outsmart Thanksgiving by going for cheap and easy, yet filling and fulfilling. Think of this T-Gives game plan as a way to simplify it, if you will. The results will still be delicious.

Instant Mashed Potatoes - $1-3 per box

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Photo: Walmart

You’re saving yourself the time of cooking, mashing, stirring, etc., so this should only take a few minutes at most (they don’t call ‘em “instant” for nothing). Heat up water, margarine and salt to a boil, then stir in milk and the potato mix until the consistency is puffy and fluffy like a cumulus cloud.

Canned Veggies -  $1-4 each

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Green beans, sliced carrots, peas, corn… Folks can often forget about the convenience of canned goods like these (you don’t have to stick to canned cranberry sauce!). Foods that come canned are ultimately cheaper, and for some, can even be easier and faster to cook, whether using the stove or microwave. Prep and serve them plainly, and either as separate dishes or combine them as one.

Pre-Sliced Turkey - $7-15

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Does it really make a difference if you serve turkey that’s already cut up versus whole? Skip the presentation and save yourself heaps of time, effort, and cash by opting for a package of pre-sliced turkey. Simply season the sides of the slices and heat in a skillet until they’re golden.

Two-Buck Chuck

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Wine is wine, right? Grab a bottle or two of your choice vino that’s on clearance, because your guests will be tickled pink either way (Literally). Don't forget to treat yo self and grab an extra bottle for after dinner too.

Hawaiian Rolls - $5

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A package of these can go a long way and will be plenty for your guests, plus they’re sweet so you don’t even need to use butter. Throw them onto a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for a few minutes until they get nice and toasty. Then, toss them into a basket and cover with a cloth to keep them warm.

Store Bought Pumpkin Pie - $3-7

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Photo: Walmart

Maybe you’re no Betty Crocker, but just about every supermarket is packed full of pre-made pumpkin pies. Find a cute pie tray at the dollar store and no one will be the wiser.