Can you believe it is coming close to Thanksgiving time? It always seems like September and October fly right by.
10 Simple Ways to Save Money on Thanksgiving Dinner
Set a budget. Finalize your guest list and then prepare a budget based on how many people are coming.
Know General Serving Guidelines. Check out this handy printable guide from Good Housekeeping.
Do some DIY decor. Make your home beautiful with some DIY fall decor. Check out thrift stores or even search for inspiration in your own backyard!
Make Thanksgiving Dinner a potluck. Instead of handling all the dishes, suggest some guests (or all) bring a dish to share. Coordinate so everyone is not bringing a dessert. With my dinner, I make the turkey, stuffing, and one dessert. Other people bring other sides and meats. It greatly lessons the amount I need to budget getting my part completed.
Avoid disposable dishes and napkins. Buy some nice cloth napkins that you can reuse year after year. Use real dishes. It might mean a little more work, but it saves a lot of money. Especially with Thanksgiving Dinner, when guest needs heavier duty plates that cost more.
Determine what is cheaper store bought, What is cheaper to prepare homemade? Calculate the cost of a dish and figure out if it is better to buy a store bought item or to make it yourself. Some dishes and sides are pennies per serving to make homemade, like gravy and mashed potatoes. Other dishes like specialty pies, can be done using your store’s bakery for sometimes less than the cost to buy all the ingredients.
Make a thorough shopping checklist. Once you have decided what you are making, make a list of all ingredients needed. Inventory your panty after you have made your list. Check to make sure your spices are all good and other seasonal items you might to stockpile for the coming holidays. It is very important you list every ingredient with the amount and then add up how much you need of each ingredient. I always seem to run out of butter or vegetable stock because I forget how many recipes use that ingredient. Collect coupons and start watching sales! Adequate planning prevents you from buying a $4 jar of gravy from the convenience store, which is something I did my first Thanksgiving in my own place.
Shop for non-fresh items early. Since you have your list. You can start shopping for the non-fresh items immediately so you can scope out the lowest prices. Save the fresh items for the week of.
Make a realistic time plan. Just like you calculate the price of store vs. homemade, consider the value of your time. Do you have the time to make homemade rolls or is there too much going on Thanksgiving Day? Pies can be made ahead of time and frozen. Somethings can be prepared the day before and reheated in the oven. Make a plan that works for you to have a wonderful dinner.
Use the complete turkey to get the full value of the money your spent. After dinner is over and you have enjoyed turkey sandwiches on Black Friday, find some recipes on Pinterest and use the rest of the turkey. Soups, casseroles, and more can be made into freezer meals and extend your budget even further.
Have other ways to save money on Thanksgiving dinner? Share them in the comments!