Your Guide to a Centsable Thanksgiving

Thanks to guest poster, Kathryn Katz, for these great Thanksgiving tips!

Thanksgiving brings families together for festivities and good food. It’s a day where we step away from the daily grind to remember what’s important, and to give thanks for the blessings our family have received throughout the year. However, if you’re the host of this event, it can quickly turn to a burden if you don’t plan ahead and keep an eye on your budget.

Here are some tips to make sure you have a centsable Thanksgiving:

#1 Plan Ahead

In my household, the host usually cooks the turkey, and all the guests bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert. By making your Thanksgiving a pot luck affair, you’ll save a lot on your food budget. However, don’t leave your holiday dinner to chance, and make sure to coordinate who’s bringing what dish. Otherwise, you just might end up with 3 sweet potato casseroles and no veggies at your dinner table.

If you’re just having Thanksgiving with immediate family and don’t plan on having extra guests, you can also benefit to some planning ahead. If your oven is anything like mine, it won’t fit much more than the turkey. Prepare some of the side dishes and dessert the day before. It’s easier to heat up a side dish or two than cooking it from scratch that day.

#2 Shop Smart

Grocery stores will be offering special deals in the coming weeks, trying to entice you to buy all your Thanksgiving food from their store. Make sure to only buy the deals, and avoid the up-sells. Some grocery stores will offer a free turkey if you reach a certain spending level. If you decide to go for the free turkey, make sure you’re making frugal choices and that you’re not buying additional items just for the turkey. After all, if you never intended to buy it in the first place, it’s not a sale.

#3 Design Your Own Holiday Decor

Every year stores fill the shelves with Thanksgiving décor. Rather than have another knickknack take more money out of your holiday budget, let your kids create some holiday decor.  If you’re living up North, have your kids collect some pine cones and autumn leaves, and create a fall wreath. Grab some construction paper, draw an outline of their hands and make a few turkeys to hang around the house. Better Homes and Gardens offer some great ideas for Thanksgiving crafts.

#4 Divide Family Activities

Thanksgiving dinner will pull everyone together to eat and catch up on family life. However, it’s always good idea to have a few separate activities. Reserve the living room for the sports fanatics who expect to watch their favorite team on Thanksgiving. Create a playroom for the kids, away from the football watchers, that include a few board games and toys to keep the kids busy. You can draft the older teens to police the younger kids while mom’s helpers help her finish a few last details for Thanksgiving dinner.

Remember, a big part of having a Centsable Thanksgiving is having a plan that not only saves you money, but also saves you time and headaches. Don’t be afraid of pulling others in to help pull your Thanksgiving together. After all, Thanksgiving is about family.

About Kathryn Katz

Kathryn Katz is an avid cat lover, single mom, internet marketer and professional copywriter. Kathryn is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor and works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services.

Photo by rms519


  1. vickie says:

    Some very good tips. They will come in handy soon.

  2. Great post! I love these tips, especially the one about letting kids help with decor.

    Thanks for sharing your money saving ideas!


    And by the way, stop on over to Free 2 Be Frugal some time soon.


  1. […] to couponing, I recommend this Beginners page. Thanks for visiting!You’ve planned ahead for a centsable Thanksgiving…so you have the meal planned and the grocery deals purchased.  But, now how are you going to […]

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