With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is time to start planning. If you are like most people, you are living on a budget. For some, fitting Thanksgiving into your budget can be difficult. If you want to have a great Thanksgiving dinner this year and still stay on budget, there are a few tips that you can follow to save some money this holiday season. If you want to have a great day but you don’t want to break the bank, you should follow the tips listed below. You can end up cutting your budget in half, which will really give you something to be thankful for.
Set a Budget For Your Meal
The first thing that you should do is figure out how much money you can afford to spend. If you don’t set a budget, you can end up spending more money than you can afford. Once you have created your budget, you should spit it between the three important categories, food, drinks, and decorations. Next, make your list. As long as you stick to the budget and the list, you won’t overspend.
Buy Your Turkey Frozen
Fresh turkeys can cost up to $1 per pound more than a frozen turkey. You would need to purchase your turkey ahead of time so that you have time to thaw it out completely before Thanksgiving, but if you spend less on your turkey, you will be able to afford to buy a larger one. You can also put the money that you save toward your vegetables or your dessert.
Shop the Reduced Rack
Most supermarkets have reduced racks that are full of food that is going out of code soon. If you shop the day before Thanksgiving, you can buy reduced fruits, reduced vegetables, and even reduced bread products. This can be a huge money saver.
Have a Potluck Dinner
If you want to host Thanksgiving dinner at your home but you don’t have the money to serve a turkey dinner with all the fixings, you should have a potluck dinner. Since the turkey is the most important part of your dinner, you should be in charge of that. Next, ask each person coming to dinner to bring something. You can put each guest in charge of one dish, and you can save a great deal of money in the process. Just make sure that you don’t have two guests bringing the same dish. The last thing you want is five bowls of mashed potatoes and nothing else. A potluck will also give you a chance to try your friends’ and family member’s versions of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
Use the Food in Your Refrigerator and Cabinets
If you don’t have the money to buy all of the ingredients necessary to cook Thanksgiving dinner, you should go through your kitchen and see what you already have. Chances are you can change a recipe or two to take advantage of the food that you already have. This way, you won’t need to buy as much.
Keep Your Decorations Simple
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t mean that you need to create elegant centerpieces and deck out your whole home. You can go to your local dollar store and find decorations. If you are creative, you can create your own centerpiece at a much lower cost than buying one from the store. If you keep your decorations simple, you can spend more money on the food and drinks.
Look For Sales
In the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, turkeys, gravy, vegetables, pies, and everything that you will need for Thanksgiving start going on sale. If you want to save money, shop the sales. If you have more than one supermarket in your area, check the weekly circular from each store. This will give you a chance to find the best deal possible. To save even more, you should go online print out coupons for the food that you are planning to purchase. Shopping the sales and using coupons can cut your food bill in half.
Save on Alcohol
One way to save money on alcohol is to make your Thanksgiving dinner a dry one. It is much cheaper to serve soft drinks and water than it is to serve alcohol. If you want to have alcohol at your dinner, make it a BYOB. Let guests know that if they plan to drink at dinner that they should bring their own. This takes all of the financial responsibility off of your shoulders. If you have invited polite guests, they might just end up bringing something for their host as well.
Make a Homemade Meal
Many people who cannot cook, or who don’t feel like spending the day in the kitchen will order their Thanksgiving dinner from a restaurant. This can end up costing your three times as much money as it would if you were to prepare the dinner yourself. Even the prepared Thanksgiving dinners that you can pre-order from the supermarket cost much more than a homecooked meal. If you cannot cook, invite a few guests to come early and help out. Make it worth their while by buying a bottle of wine to drink while you cook. Getting some help can make the dinner preparation fun, so you won’t mind spending the whole day in the kitchen. Also, if you aren’t the best cook in the world, you will have people helping you, making sure that you don’t make any major mistakes.
Use Your Leftovers
If you are cooking a big dinner, you will have leftovers. You can factor these leftovers into your daily meals for the next week. If you are going to be eating the leftovers, it will cost you less when you do your weekly grocery shopping after Thanksgiving. You can make turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, and if you save the turkey bones, you can use them to make a delicious soup with the turkey and the vegetables that you have leftover.
Thanksgiving is a time of year to gather with friends and family members to celebrate everything that you have to be thankful for. If you want to have a great day but you don’t want to break the bank, you should follow the tips listed above. You can end up cutting your budget in half, which will really give you something to be thankful for.