Next in the holiday lineup is Thanksgiving. If you’re hosting this year, you may be nervous about the costs associated with cooking a big Thanksgiving meal. But Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a source of financial stress. We’ve compiled a list of 10 Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving.
Get a final head count and plan the meal accordingly. Make a menu, a list of what you’ll need to buy, and stick to it. This will help ensure that you don’t make spend extra money on food that will just go to waste.
Decorations can be as simple as leaves, pinecones, or branches from your own yard. You can also buy inexpensive gourds or candles for table centerpieces. Here are three creative and inexpensive ideas:
Pear Turkey (Source: craftsunleashed.com)
Leaf Placecards (Source: countryliving.com)
Apple Candles (Source: fitmommydiaries.blogspot.com)
Make it a Potluck
If you’re hosting this year, you don’t have to provide everything. Offer to provide the meat and ask your guests to bring a dish.
Shop Sales and Coupons
Grocery stores and other retailers will often put all the necessary “Thanksgiving” food on sale or special – stuffing, chicken broth, cranberry sauce, etc. can be found at discounted rates. Also keep an eye out for coupons that can be applied to all of your groceries.
Of course we’d all like a fresh, organic turkey, but if you have a strict budget, frozen turkey is cheaper. Some grocery stores may offer a free turkey if you purchase a certain amount of product, so be sure to check ads frequently.
Minimize and Simplify
If you’re working with a budget, keep your Thanksgiving dinner simple. You don’t have to have appetizers, three vegetables, and two types of potatoes. Thanksgiving is about spending time with friends and family, so let that be your focus.
Make Food Ahead
Some items, such as mashed potatoes and pies, can be made ahead and reheated on Thanksgiving day. Not only will this save you time, but it will also prevent any last minute shopping trips and extra costs.
Save Money on Alcohol
Alcohol can be one of the most expensive parts of a meal. Buy boxed wine or ask each guest to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share.
Skip the Disposables
It’s tempting to buy disposable plates, napkins, and silverware, but those costs can add up. While you will have to invest time in cleaning, using regular sliverware and dinnerware is free!
Use Your Leftovers
It may not save you money now, but plan on using your Thanksgiving leftovers in the weeks that follow. Make turkey stock out of the turkey carcass or make soup with leftover turkey. Keep leftovers in mind when planning the menu to make sure the leftovers don’t go to waste.