We know what you’re thinking. “That’s impossible. I can’t host Thanksgiving on a budget!” Well, we’ve done some research and have found a few ways to help you save during the holidays.
By Bitsy McCann
Besides spending time with family and friends, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the endless amount of food that you’re expected, maybe even required, to eat. When you’re hosting your Thanksgiving get-together, however, it can get a little bit pricey. Thankfully, we’ve created a list of five ideas to help you manage your money this November.
- Have a potluck Thanksgiving. Everyone loves variety during the Thanksgiving meal, and the best way to ensure some festive variety is to have your guests each bring a dish. You can cover all of your bases for the sides, from sweet potato casserole to green beans and corn. Feel free to let your friends and family get creative! Have them try some new recipes or a spin on a traditional favorite. You might even discover a new dish to add to the annual menu.
- Plan early and thoughtfully. If you love being the host and preparing all of the food, a potluck may not be the best choice for you. This means you’ll want to start planning right now for your Thanksgiving dinner. Go through your entire menu and create an ingredient list. See if you have any of the items in your pantry already. If not, pay attention to grocery store sales and coupons to get the most out of your shopping budget.
- Don’t cook too much. Thanksgiving is a day of eating and eating heavily, but many folks get carried away by preparing and serving way too much food. For a party of 12 people, do you need six appetizers and nine sides? This year, streamline what you’re making so that you’re not left with thirty pounds of leftovers at the end of the day. Of the recipes you’re interested in, cut out the ones with the most expensive ingredients. Also, be mindful of the amount of food you’re cooking. Don’t prepare for 20 people if you’re only hosting 12.
- Create your own centerpieces. You can always head to the nearest craft or home decor store for seasonal decorations, but those prices can be high, even at 40% off. Instead of purchasing pre-made centerpieces and decor, make some yourself! Create a garland with construction paper turkeys that you handmade. Paint some pumpkins on a few mason jars and put tealights inside of them. Visit a pumpkin patch and outfit your tables with pumpkins, gourds, pinecones and squash. The possibilities are endless for DIY Thanksgiving decor.
- Give thanks. Whatever style of Thanksgiving you have, and whatever your budget is, giving thanks can add to your bottom line in many ways! Studies have shown that being grateful is a mood booster, improves physical health and helps you sleep better. Showing appreciation to others and being thankful in general boosts self-esteem and improves mental health. If you’re in a more positive headspace, there’s no doubt you can find more creative ways to stretch your budget this Thanksgiving.
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