Save on your Thanksgiving dinner menu with these easy, simple tricks. Here are 7 Thanksgiving money saving tips that will help you enjoy the day without going over budget.
How to host Thanksgiving on a budget
Putting together a Thanksgiving dinner is quite a haul – when it comes to making it and spending money on it.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday but the timing of it isn’t awesome. After all, you’ve probably already spent a decent amount of money on Halloween and you’re either in the process or will soon begin spending a lot of money on Christmas. That shouldn’t keep you from serving an amazing meal to your friends and family.
Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of ways to cut costs without cutting corners! This post outlines all the ways to save money this Thanksgiving, from how to get a free turkey to decorating on a budget.
Want to navigate this post a little easier? Click on the words below!
- FAQ about Thanksgiving budgets
- How to get a free Thanksgiving turkey
- 7 Thanksgiving Money Saving Tips
- More Thanksgiving Ideas
FAQ about Thanksgiving budgets
If you aren’t careful you could end up going way over budget for Thanksgiving. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if Christmas wasn’t just around the corner. Just because you want to save money on Thanksgiving, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of hosting a beautiful meal.
Check out these FAQ about Thanksgiving budgets to come up with a realistic idea of how much you plan to spend this year.
How much does the typical Thanksgiving meal cost?
According to USA Today, the average Thanksgiving meal costs $48.90 and feeds 10 people.
The cost of turkey has steadily declined over the last decade making Thanksgiving a pretty affordable meal when planned correctly.
How much should I budget for Thanksgiving?
Depending on where you live, it’s safe to budget $50-100. This also depends on how much alcohol and appetizers you plan to serve.
Budgeting for the entire holiday weekend? That is a different story. According to Lendedu the average American spent $175.65 in 2018 once travel was included. It’s estimated that the cost will rise to $186.05 in 2019.
How can I get a free turkey for Thanksgiving?
Many stores have specials for free turkeys. Here is a list of free Thanksgiving turkeys for 2019.
Grocery stores with pharmacies often give out free turkeys when you get your flu shot. If your insurance covers your flu shot, this is a super smart way to get a free Thanksgiving turkey!
How can I save money on Thanksgiving?
There are so many ways to save money on Thanksgiving! Read below to find out 7 of the best ways to save on Thanksgiving dinner.
7 Thanksgiving Money Saving Tips
Consider hosting a potluck Thanksgiving meal
Potlucks are not old fashioned. In fact, Thanksgiving is a great way to be inclusive! Everyone has a Thanksgiving favorite – whether it’s a casserole or dessert or a dressing style. People may all agree on mashed potatoes as a main side, but as far as tweaks to the recipe, people have their preferences! What a great way to celebrate traditions by letting people bring their favorite side dish while you handle the turkey. Of course, this is if you’re having a big family and/or friend gathering. If it’s just your main family unit, read on!
Buy ingredients ahead
Make a list of everything you need and start scanning online and in-store ads. Many things can be bought in advance and stored, such as canned items, or frozen. Speaking of frozen, consider buying your turkey frozen. You’ll need about 3-4 days to defrost, but if you’re buying ahead, this should be no problem.
You’re already scoping out ads and coupons. Go to discount stores such as Aldi for as many ingredients as you can. Call a local bakery and find out when they discount bread if you’re making homemade dressing. Figure out the size turkey you need – estimate about 1 pound per person. If you love leftover turkey, maybe it’s smarter to increase that to 1.5 pounds. Don’t waste money buying more than you need at a higher price.
Go bargain with beverages
Check out wholesale stores that sell alcohol (Costco, Sam’s, BJ’s) or wholesale liquor stores. Don’t balk at the thought of boxed wine. Most boxes of wine contain up to four bottles. If you serve it up in a nice decanter, nobody will tell the difference. For non-alcoholic beverages, skip the more expensive sodas and consider drink mixes (Crystal Light, Kool-Aid), coffee and tea.
Keep it simple
Consider what basic Thanksgiving dishes mean to you. Mashed potatoes and green beans? Stuffing and macaroni and cheese? It’s fun to feel inspired and try new and more complicated (and more expensive) dishes, but sometimes your Thanksgiving combination is what everyone is truly looking forward to.
Go cheap with Thanksgiving decor
Using food as decoration is a great way to save money, because it will eventually go from decoration to sustenance. Scatter cranberries and set out some beautiful acorn squash. Mix in some pinecones and fall leaves from your yard to add variety! Or if you want to go with store-bought, skip the home décor stores and check out dollar stores. You’ll find great options for cheap. Just make sure you don’t go overboard! If you want to get the kids involved, having them make homemade decorations and place cards is a wonderful idea that will make for adorable keepsakes.
Repurpose your leftovers
With some careful planning and creativity, you can repurpose your leftovers into some pretty delicious meals.
More Thanksgiving ideas
Need some more Thanksgiving inspiration? Try these ideas for fun ways to enjoy the day without spending a ton of money.
- 6 Truths About Black Friday- Is It Even Worth It?
- 7 Easy Pot Luck Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Turkey cinnamon rolls
- Ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers
- Slow cooked risotto with turkey
- Last minute Thanksgiving crafts
- How to make a cinnamon sugar rim for pumpkin beer
- How to host a pumpkin beer tasting party
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