Thanksgiving on a Budget – 5 Tips for Saving Money This Year

Cooked Thanksgiving turkeyMany of us are guilty of over-spending. Some of us are seasonal over-spenders and some of us are chronic over-spenders. Regardless of where we fall on the spending spectrum, when we choose to, we can almost always find ways to reduce our expenses, especially during the holiday season. Here we will discuss five tips to skinny down your spending for Thanksgiving without sacrificing a delicious meal and wonderful memories with family and friends.

Our first tip is to take an honest look at your guest list. It is easy to over-invite, especially during the holidays, but often this can lead to overextending ourselves monetarily and with regards to our time commitment. While perhaps uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first, it is ok to say no or to let past guests know that you’re hosting a smaller group this year. In addition to saving money, a smaller guest list will allow for greater face time with each guest.

Regardless of the number of guests on your list, asking your invitees to contribute to the dinner will not only assist you in keeping your budget in line, but also reduce your own workload. Nearly everyone has a specialty dish or a favorite item that they would be happy to share with the group, which will also give your gathering more character.

It can be easy to try to please everyone on your guest list and fall into the trap of making too much food. Not only is this a budget killer but can also be a mood killer as the added stress of trying to remember exactly what each guest’s preferences are can be exhausting. Sometimes less is more and that can certainly apply in this situation.

Additionally, most grocery stores will be offering sales on Thanksgiving staples in the weeks leading up to the feast. Shopping these sales, and shopping smart, can help you keep your budget on track. Curate a menu, take inventory of the ingredients that you already have on hand and then make a list in anticipation of the sales, being careful to buy only what you need.

Our final suggestion depends on a number of variables so it will be up to you and your guests to decide if it works for you, but dining out may just be a less expensive option to hosting and preparing a Thanksgiving meal. Many restaurants that choose to open on holidays have a flat price, all-inclusive meal option and the only preparation required is making a reservation. While you sacrifice some control in this scenario, it can also all but eliminate the stress associated with hosting a holiday in your home.