Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, but it can also be expensive. Hosting a large family dinner can quickly grow into a large grocery bill. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to. Let’s look at how to host Thanksgiving on a budget.
Consider a Potluck
A potluck is always a good idea. You can encourage people to bring the dishes they like to make. For example, everyone might love Aunt Emily’s cornbread dressing and Grandma Carolyn’s mashed potatoes. This way, not only will you save money, but there will be less work for you to do as well.
Our neighbors (and good friends) invite us over to celebrate Thanksgiving with them every year, and we do a big potluck. She provides the main dishes like turkey, etc, but everyone who comes brings at least a few dishes to help spread out the work and the cost.
Keep Things Simple
If you do decide to do the meal on your own, do yourself a favor and keep things simple. This is not the time to reimagine Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, a couple vegetables, cranberry sauce, rolls, and a couple pies is all you need. And, you can take advantage of store-bought pies, rolls, and cranberry sauce.
There's no need to make Thanksgiving a gourmet meal. We love the basics, since it's Thanksgiving tradition. And, as far as pies, it's hard to beat the prices of Costco pumpkin and apple pies! I do make a homemade Nutella Cheesecake, because it's a family favorite.
Take Advantage of Great Sales
Throughout the month of November, you will find incredible sales on everything from pies to potatoes since grocery stores know what people want to buy this month. Watch for the best prices and buy the ingredients you need throughout the month. Many ingredients will last until the big day.
Get Your Turkey for Free
So many stores run promotions where if you spend so much money, you can get a free turkey. Usually, you spend so much money per week for several weeks and then trade in your points or tickets to get a free turkey. This is only a great deal if you already shop at that particular store and are going to spend that much money each week. Otherwise, just find a store with the best sale price on turkeys.
Take Your Family Out to Eat
Last, but not least, you don’t have to host Thanksgiving at home. You can sometimes save money by eating out. There are so many restaurants that offer a Thanksgiving buffet for less than $10 per person. Compare how much it would cost to buy all the ingredients versus going out. Also remember to consider the time saved by not having to cook or clean.
You can host Thanksgiving on a budget. It takes planning and time spent watching for good grocery deals. You also want to look for free turkey promotions. Last, but not least, make sure you compare how much it would cost to take your family out for Thanksgiving rather than hosting the event at home. You’ll be surprised at how affordable it can be.