As Thanksgiving draws near, many people are looking for ways to stretch their already stretched budgets to feed family and friends. In addition to thinking about whether or not to buy a turkey or ham, you need to decide whether or not to host the celebration yourself. If you are hosting, you want to make sure that you are able to entertain your guests without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas for how to keep a Thanksgiving dinner inexpensive.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many people are already thinking about how they can cut back a bit on their holiday spending this year. If you are one of them, don’t worry — there are plenty of things you can do to keep your Thanksgiving budget from busting. The first trick is to take a good look at your grocery list and see if you can’t get a few things on sale.
The dollars seem to vanish as soon as they hit our hands around Thanksgiving, especially when we’re giving thanks for the bounty of food in front of us. The good news is that it’s possible to handle your finances responsibly and still enjoy the delights of the table. The key? Planning, and these eight tips for the holidays will help. These blog posts are meant to be funny but are still relevant to the topic. The point of this exercise is to practice creating an intro paragraph to a blog post. In the end, you should have a list of 10 blog post titles, 10 corresponding blog post intros, and 5 fake blog posts with real SEO keywords. After you’ve completed this step, you may moveMessage: Because of Covid-19, there may be fewer people attending your Thanksgiving dinner than there used to be, but I think you’ll still enjoy these money-saving ideas! If you’ve ever hosted a large dinner party, you probably know how expensive it can be. But just because it can be expensive doesn’t mean it has to be. I have a ton of tips on how to make the most of your Thanksgiving budget so you can have a great dinner without spending a fortune. Although this article is about Thanksgiving, these tips apply to any major holiday or family celebration. Important reminder I love the idea of a big fancy family dinner, like in the movies or on some Instagram accounts, but I have to remind myself that’s not what counts. The most important thing is that people feel welcome and at ease in my home and that we all have a good time together. Repeat what I say: Keep it simple.
To stretch your Thanksgiving budget, it helps a lot to be organized. Here are some tips for planning and organizing your event:
- Start by creating a menu, so you know what dishes you will be serving and what products you will need to buy for them (this will help you answer question 2).
- Make an estimate of the number of people expected. The total number is useful for estimating how many people you will be feeding and how you will get everyone to the table.
- Set a budget. I usually set a budget for special occasions (like birthdays or the annual Christmas party). That way I know what we can afford and can spend the money on the most important things.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, there are good sales on most of the ingredients you need. Look for the best deals on turkey, as it is probably the biggest expense. You can buy many ingredients weeks in advance if you find a good sale: Canned pumpkin, whipped cream (can be kept in freezer), potatoes…. Don’t forget to check out the money saving apps! My favorite is Ibotta , because they often offer cash back on store brands and products (which is almost impossible to find coupons for). Generally, all you have to do is take a picture of the receipt to get the discount, and it’s very quick. If you haven’t signed up yet, use this link and you will receive $10in your account when you receive your first discount. You may have a matching check in your wallet.
3. Everyone should bring something else!
Just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do everything. It makes sense that you prepare the turkey, as it is too complicated for someone else to prepare and transport it to your home, but everything else can be brought by a guest. In our families, we all know what dish to bring for Thanksgiving. Everyone brings something different! Ask your guests to do their part. You can review your menu from tip #1 and ask your guests to bring some of these things. Some ideas of what guests should bring
- Pumpkin pie or other desserts
- Other favorite side dishes
- Appetizers: Vegetables and sauce, crackers and cheese….
You can even tell them how many people will be at the dinner, so they can bring enough food for everyone.
4. Skip disposable accessories
Using disposable crockery and cutlery makes cleaning easier, but can be expensive. Give up disposable utensils and use real kitchen utensils to save money. Bonus: It adds an extra touch of sophistication to your dinner!
5. Prepare a wide variety of classic dishes
Here it is very important to keep it simple. You don’t need turkey, ham and chicken, plus three different potato dishes, two different green bean casseroles, four drink options….. You have the idea. Keep it simple. It is much better to prepare a large number of a few classic Thanksgiving dishes than to serve many different dishes. People won’t remember that you had four different kinds of desserts, because in my experience, almost everyone wants a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. If you have a lot of pumpkin pie (which isn’t expensive), no one will feel like they’re missing out on anything. Stick to one meat: maybe turkey.
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Make some kind of dessert: probably a pumpkin pie. Prepare lots of classic Thanksgiving dishes for your family, and no one will feel like they’re missing out on anything. In our country that means mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and probably a bean dish. All of these classics are fairly inexpensive, so it’s very beneficial to keep using them.
6. Choose cheap drinks
Drinks can be very expensive. Again, keep it simple and use only one or two options. You can prepare a large amount of punch or buy cider to offer as a beverage. Cider is usually sold at Thanksgiving, and punch is reasonably priced. It is not common in our families to drink much alcohol, so it is not expected at our family meals either. But I know that’s to be expected for many people. If alcohol is on the menu, choose one or two cheap options. We really like Aldi’s Winking Owl wine, and it only costs a few dollars a bottle. Or, when guests ask what to bring, ask them to bring a bottle of wine.
7. Just decorate
There are two reasons not to go overboard with jewelry:
- They can be expensive and are not really necessary if you are trying to stay within budget.
- At Thanksgiving, there are usually so many plates and bowls on the table that there is no room for decorations!
You can simplify the decorating by using the fall decorations you already have and hanging them in the rooms where your guests will be staying. The natural elements are also very beautiful:
- A bowl of small pumpkins or squash from the supermarket.
- Pine cone or street acorn
I often find beautiful seasonal jewelry at dollar stores.
8. Plan for residual quantities
I don’t like it when there’s not enough food at a big gathering. I always try to make more than I think I need, so everyone can take as much as they want. That means I’ll probably have leftovers, which is great! Plan to eat the leftovers the following week to avoid food waste. If there is anything left over that you don’t like, send it home with someone of your guests. Leftover turkey can be used for sandwiches or as an appetizer for soup. You can also add mashed potatoes to the soup if you don’t like mashed potatoes. And of course, leftover pumpkin pie never goes in the trash! If you plan ahead, keep it simple and stick to the inexpensive classics, you can stretch your Thanksgiving budget for a long time. I know that when you throw a party this big, you want everything to be perfect and very beautiful. At the end of the day, people remember how nice and comfortable they felt in your home and how much time they spent with family and friends. With these money-saving tips, you can be sure that your guests will eat deliciously and that you won’t spend a fortune.
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⇒ What advice do you have for Thanksgiving? Will you have guests this year?
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