Have you already invited everyone over to your house for this Thanksgiving and now you’re wondering how you’ll be able to afford it? Let’s talk about Thanksgiving on a budget!
While you may feel like you’ve dug a huge hole for yourself or wished you would have put your foot in your mouth to begin with, you don’t have to keep stressing about it a moment longer.
There are several solutions that you can do that will help alleviate the burden when it comes to your finances. Keep reading to find out how to do Thanksgiving at your home when you’re on a budget.
1. Have a Potluck: Thanksgiving on a Budget!
Just because you plan on having Thanksgiving in your home and have invited friends and family over, that doesn’t mean all the cooking should be left entirely up to you. Instead, make this year’s Thanksgiving dinner a potluck where everyone brings a side dish, dessert, or one or two of their favorite drinks.
This will save you a ton of money and take off some of the burden of you cooking and having the sole responsibility of laying out a huge spread for everyone. You’ll also be able to enjoy trying new things and possibly add several new recipe cards to your collection.
2. Less is More for Thanksgiving Dinner
Have you ever experienced a Thanksgiving where you filled up on dozens of different appetizers and snack items beforehand and were miserably full before the turkey even made it to the table? Too many options for your guests isn’t the best way to go while on a budget.
It will cost you more and you’ll be stuck with so much extra food that you won’t know what to do with it. So limit your spread to traditional dishes and just a few appetizers to help you manage this.
3. Take Stock of What You Already Have
Before heading to the store, take a look at what you already have in your pantry and fridge. The last thing you want to do is accidentally buy something that you already have on hand. This will not only save money but also prevent food waste.
Now that you know what you already have, it’s time to put a list together for those holiday items. Just remember to actually stick to the list so that you don’t end up adding more to your grocery bill.
4. Shop for the Best Deals
Most grocery stores put out their Thanksgiving deals catalogs two weeks before the big day. While it will require more time and effort on your part, comparing each store’s catalog and then shopping for the best deals can save your family a lot of money.
This may require you to shop for your holiday items at two or three different grocery stores but your wallet will thank you for it.
5. Canned Goods Aren’t So Bad
Fresh vegetables and pumpkin pie that’s prepared straight from the gourd may sound much more appealing to you, but you’ll be forking over a lot more money to do so.
Canned goods will not only help you pinch your pennies but also save you time in preparing some of those favorite Thanksgiving dishes. And to be quite honest, your friends and family won’t say a word about it. Your meal will still be a smashing hit!
6. Frozen Veggies Are Also Cheaper
Just like with canned vegetables, frozen veggies can also save you money instead of having to purchase everything fresh. You also won’t have to worry about your vegetables going bad before the big day. And rest assured, everyone will still love your green bean casserole and keep coming back for more.
7. Avoid Buying Name Brand Turkey
When you buy name brand, without question you’re going to pay more for it. The same goes when you’re shopping for a giant turkey to feed all of your guests. When you think about it, a turkey is a turkey, so why should you be paying 50 cents more a pound for one over another?
It’s simple, you shouldn’t! So, don’t be afraid to shop for a store’s brand when it comes to turkeys because that will most likely be your best deal and your guests won’t be able to tell the difference.
8. Buy in Bulk for Thanksgiving on a Budget
Buying in bulk can often save you a lot of money, so why not do it for Thanksgiving as well? This means hitting up warehouse stores or buying items online in larger quantities. Just make sure that whatever you buy won’t go bad before the big day or before you have a chance to use it all.
A great example of this is buying several bags of frozen cranberries. Not only will they last longer, but they’ll also be much cheaper than if you were to buy them individually at the grocery store.
9. Limit the Beverages
A fully-stocked cocktail bar isn’t a way to go about Thanksgiving while on a budget. Keep it simple by purchasing bottles of juice and soda to quench everyone’s thirst. And like I mentioned earlier, you can encourage your guests to bring their own favorite adult beverages if they wish to do so.
10. Leftovers are Your Friend
Thanksgiving leftovers are one of the best parts of the holiday! Think about all the sandwiches, soups, casseroles, and other dishes that you can create with your leftovers. Make sure to stock up on plastic containers and aluminum foil so that your friends and family can take some home with them.
This will give them a meal already prepared for them, and it’ll also save you from having to cook in the days following Thanksgiving. And hey, who doesn’t love turkey sandwiches?
11. Make Your Own Holiday Decorations
Get creative and make your own festive Thanksgiving decorations. This can be a fun activity to do with family or even by yourself. Use things that you already have in and around your home, such as pine cones and leaves from outside, or browse the dollar store for cheap trinkets to use as decor.
Not only will this save you money from buying expensive holiday decorations, but it’ll also add a personal touch to your Thanksgiving celebration.
More Thanksgiving Tips:
- How to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers
- How to Make the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey
- Amazing Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Try This Year
- How to Have a Christmas with No Gifts
Do some of these tips sound like too much effort or not worth your time? Remember, every little bit of savings adds up and anything that can help to alleviate some of the financial stress that often comes with hosting Thanksgiving is worth it in the end.
Just remember, Thanksgiving is not about having to spend a bunch of money to impress your guests, but about spending quality time and laughter around the dinner table with those you love.