Certainly there are fewer things to do, such as the decorating, shopping, wrapping, and parties you have for the Christmas holiday. For the most part, once the cooking is done, you can give thanks, eat more than you should, relax, and enjoy the company of family or friends.
But if money is tight, Thanksgiving can still be a bit stressful. Can you host a Thanksgiving meal on a budget?
What Thanksgiving is complete without a turkey and some pumpkin pie? To make sure your meal is scrumptious, plan the menu and shop for deals ahead of time. This is especially important when you are on a tight household budget.
If you can, ask other family members to pitch in and bring the side dishes, such as stuffing, potatoes, salads, and rolls. You could even get someone to bring a drink to help share in the expense. Make only the turkey and gravy yourself for about $30 to $40, depending on the number of guests.
Shopping ahead of time is an advantage, especially if you do have to prepare all of the food yourself. Scour grocery store sales flyers and clip coupons. Try to pick up canned, boxed, or non-perishable items when they are on sale and increase your savings with coupons if you can. Look for e-coupons to save even more.
Have you heard about those grocery apps you can get on your phone? Try one to keep costs in line.
Since you are the host you have control over what side dishes are served. Don’t include items that are out of season because they cost more.
When you must host a thanksgiving meal on a budget skip the alcoholic beverages. Buying wine, beer, or other spirits will chew up your budget fast.
If alcohol must be served, add champagne to cranberry juice. It will still be a pretty holiday drink but cost you less than alcohol alone would.
There are plenty of ways to entertain while you host a Thanksgiving meal on a budget. You could pull out some board games or a couple of decks of cards. Or, play a lively gave of charades together. If you are too full of turkey to move, watching a movie together could be a quieter alternative.
If the weather is nice, go outside in the backyard or to a park and play touch football. Play a thankfulness game so each person can name what they are thankful for.
Be thankful for each other and don’t overspend or overdo the décor when you host a Thanksgiving meal on a budget. Keep it simple.
A couple of pumpkins, some pinecones, burlap, nuts and branches can serve as decorations. Jute string, burlap, brown craft paper and gourds are other items that may assist you in putting together creative displays.