Getting Ahead of the Holiday Meal Cost-Part 3

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Welcome to Part Three in our series Getting Ahead of the Holiday Meal Cost.

Spices and seasonings in small bowls

We are half-way through the series. Now that we have taken care of canned items, nonperishable dry items are next. If you have already created your menu, you will know exactly what grocery items remain. If not, this list might spark some ideas and assist you in identifying additional items to add to your menu. To make menu planning and shopping easier, consider categorizing your list by breakfast, entrees, side dishes and desserts. For example, if you plan to have pancakes it will remind you to add flour and baking powder to your list. Below are some of the most common shelf-stable dry items used during the holiday season.

Powders Sweets Starches Additional Items
Baking Powder Candies ( topping for desserts) Bread Crumbs Condiments:  Mustard,Ketchup,Mayonnaise And Salad Dressing
Baking Soda Chocolate Chips Grits Food Coloring
Cornbread Mix Dried Fruits


Elbow, Penne,


French Fried Onions
Cornstarch Sprinkles( topping for baked items)

Pie Crust: Chocolate

Graham, Oreo,Pecan

Nuts: almonds, peanuts, walnuts
Flour ( All purpose,Almond, Self- Rising) Rice ( brown, white and yellow) Mint Filling
Powdered Sugar (used for frosting) Oils, & Cooking Sprays( Canola, Olive & Vegetable
Sugar ( Brown & White)

Recall from Part 1 of the series (Finding Your Recipes & Preparing Your Kitchen), bulk item purchases can be especially smart for items that have a long shelf life, are easy to store, and cheaper to buy in bulk. Nuts are a great baking ingredient but can be expensive. To lower the cost, consider buying in bulk and splitting the cost with friends or family. A 24-ounce store brand of walnuts at Walmart is $8.98 compared to a 48-ounce store brand bag at Costco for $11.69. What a price difference! 

The Getting Ahead of Holiday Meal Cost series is sponsored by the More In My Basket (MIMB) Program. Visit for the complete series or to contact the More In My Basket staff.

Preparing for the holidays can be challenging, but following the tips above can make it easier. Let’s kick off holiday meal planning right by finding the best deals. Look for an article to help you prepare each week leading up to Thanksgiving. Happy Shopping! 

For more information please contact Sheila Gregory at or via phone at 252-232-2261. The “Getting Ahead of Holiday Meal Cost” series is sponsored by the More In My Basket (MIMB) Program.