Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner

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Thanksgiving is almost here! What a great holiday: a long weekend, time with family and friends, and a decadent meal! What’s not to love? Well… if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but you’re also watching your budget, it can get a little complicated. Everyone wants to enjoy the holiday, and if there’s ever an occasion to go all out, it’s Thanksgiving. So can you host a spectacular meal without breaking the bank? Yes! Yes, you can, if you follow some of these tips.

  • Plan ahead. Set your guest list and your menu so that you know exactly what you’ll need. This way you can shop around for the best deals, and you’ll have time to shop in multiple stores if that will be the most cost effective. Make lists to avoid impulse purchases, and take advantage of savings for buying more. You can cook more than you need and freeze the extra, saving you money and time!
  • Take stock of your pantry. Check your pantry and freezer before you go shopping to avoid spending money on things you already have at home.
  • Keep  it simple. You can cut some corners and still have a special meal if you make sure that the basics are done really well. You don’t need to use all four herbs that your stuffing recipe calls for- use just one and it will still taste amazing. You also don’t need four kinds of stuffing, for that matter. Or pie. Make one and make it fabulous!
  • Skip unpopular dishes. Every family has those dishes that nobody eats, but you keep making them and serving them because of tradition. Start a new tradition this year and don’t make them! Don’t waste time and money working on something that will only end up in the garbage.
  • Get a free turkey. Many supermarkets will give you a free turkey if you spend a certain amount of money in the weeks before Thanksgiving.
  • Don’t splurge on decorations. You can set a beautiful and festive table using free, seasonal elements from nature, such as leaves, pumpkins, pine cones, acorns, or fruit. Get the kids involved and put them in charge of the decorations for a charming touch. If you’re the crafty type, you probably know that you can get tons of low budget ideas on Pinterest. And here are some free printables that will help spruce up your Thanksgiving table.
  • Save energy. Fill your oven with foods that can cook at the same temperatures to cut down on energy costs. Take advantage of the heat that’s generated from your oven and lower your house thermostat. You can also keep the thermostat at a lower temperature when your house is warmed by the body heat of your guests.
  • Ask guests to contribute. A potluck dinner is a great way to cut down on costs, but if that’s not the way you want to go you can still ask for some help. If guests offer to bring something, take them up on it! Things you can ask for include side dishes, salads, desserts, or wine.

Don’t let worries about your budget keep you from having a wonderful holiday. You can save money on Thanksgiving dinner and still have a very happy holiday!


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