Thanksgiving — A Time for Thankfulness and Thriftiness
Thanksgiving is a time for thankfulness. It is also a time for cooking up an extravagant meal with all of your favorite fixings. Thanksgiving festivities can increase your grocery shopping bill, not to mention the expense of having to pay for decorations, tableware, and table linens.
If you are serving up Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year, we want to share some tips about how you can serve the meal in style without paying a fortune. But because we know you do not want to appear cheap, our tips will inspire you to be thrifty without being tacky.
5 Tips for a Frugal Thanksgiving Feast
Here is how you can celebrate Thanksgiving without busting your budget:
- Start Shopping Early. You can spread out the cost by doing your shopping a little bit at a time instead of all at once. Stock up on supplies when you see them on sale. An extra expense of $16 per week is a lot easier for your budget to handle than an extra $50 added to one shopping trip. This also allows you to take advantage of the best sale prices as they come along.
- Skip Costly Decorations. As much as you may feel obligatedto go out and buy an expensive Thanksgiving dinner table centerpiece or holiday-themed plates, resist the urge. Stick with simple decorations, including generic fall-themed décor items. When it comes to linen and serve ware colors, autumn shades work well — burgundy, brown, tan, cream, mustard yellow, orange, and red. You can use items in these colors that you already have; if you have to go out and buy them, opt for general use items, which are likely to be cheaper. For example, I have a burgundy tablecloth that looks good year-round but works for Thanksgiving, too. Woven baskets look great on a Thanksgiving table. Use natural elements for your table décor and centerpiece, including pine cones, leaves, acorns, gourds, and nuts. For more tips on DIY Thanksgiving decorations, check out our recent post.
- Go Potluck and BYOB. If you are holding Thanksgiving dinner at your home, then you already have a lot of prep and expense to be responsible for. Don’t be afraid to ask others if they want to bring their famous dish or their favorite alcoholic drink. Having others pitch in will lower your costs, while adding a personal touch to the festivities.
- Limit Your Offerings. If you have ever been to a restaurantthat offers Thanksgiving dinner, you will know that they normally offer a few of the traditional favorites and that’s it. Why we feel the need to serve up more dishes than a restaurant would, I do not know, but resisting that urge can help you to save money. Choose one meat (turkey for most) and a handful of sides — decide on a number ahead of time, and then limit yourself. For dessert, offer one or two options. You may want to reduce the dishes that you cook if you know that others will be supplying some.
- Skip Appetizers. Thanksgiving dinner is such a large meal that it is normally best to reserve some space in your stomach. Save a little money by skipping appetizers and other edible extras, like candy. Keep the focus on the turkey, fixings, and dessert. More than likely, your guests will not notice the difference.
Your Little Savings Secret
By being mindful, it is possible to be frugal about your Thanksgiving feast without your guests even knowing it. With an emphasis on simplicity and by prioritizing what you spend your money on, you can serve a bountiful holiday dinner without experiencing financial stress.
Do you know someone who will be having Thanksgiving dinner at their house this year? Help to ease their stress and expense by sharing these savvy tips with them.
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Best wishes for a Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for!