Getting Ahead of Holiday Meal Cost

Part 1-Holiday Spices

Fall is here and the holiday season is quickly approaching. Whether you’re planning a meal for one or ten, it’s never too early to start preparing. Planning your menu in advance allows you the opportunity to spend smarter, using less of your SNAP dollars. Strictly sticking to your menu items and buying in advance over the course of several grocery trips will seem like less of an impact on your monthly food budget.

Recommendations to follow:

  • Make a menu of your meals for the holiday.
  • Sort the meals by groups:
    • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert


  • Food category (protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy)

Be sure to label which holiday the meal will be prepared on and include the date. Indicating your meal preparation date will be a clear reminder of your deadline.

Once your menu is prepared, make a list of ingredients for each meal. Highlight all the ingredients which are sugar and spices. Go through your pantry to see what items you already have in stock. Items that you do not have enough of or don’t have at all should be purchased. Buying in advance also helps ensure that your ingredients will be in stock at your local grocery store. There are so many common ingredients used for holiday meals, why not avoid the madness and buy ingredients slowly.  

Some of the most popular holiday spices include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Peppermint
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Vanilla Bean sugar