This holiday, though scrumptious, can get quite expensive. Last year, a dinner for 10 cost $49.87. It may not seem like much, but this could impact some family’s budget, not to mention this total will rise with more guests. My family, for example, will have 24 at the table. Do the math. Yikes!
Here are some tips for celebrating a budget-friendly Thanksgiving.
1. Get an Accurate Head Count
This seems like a simple enough task, but having 5 less than you thought you would really impact how much food you prepared and thus, your wallet. Get an accurate number so you know how much food to make, and, in turn, know how much to buy.
2. No Disposables
Paper plates, paper napkins, and plastic cutlery do serve a purpose. It is nice to be able to throw away these items after they’ve been used, and avoid the hassle of cleaning dishes. Buying these items, however, can be costly. Especially if you are feeding a large group. Save some money and use real plates and silverware.
Side note: I, personally, find washing dishes to be very therapeutic. If family members are getting on your nerves, separate yourself and do the dishes.
3. DIY Decorations
Store bought decorations look nice, but they are also expensive. This is especially true if you are getting them from a party store. Keep some money in your pocket and make your own decorations. This could be a nice family activity too. If you have children, have them make some handprint turkeys.
You can find many great DIY decoration ideas here.
4. Start Shopping Early
If you start shopping early, you are able to be picky about price. You can take advantage of sales and other deals, and you also avoid the holiday craziness that ensues when Thanksgiving is just days away.
When you shop early, you can also take full advantage of coupons.
5. Buy in Bulk
Go to your local warehouse club (Costco or Sam’s Club) to buy things in large quantities. Soups and broths come in a can so if you end up with more than you need, you can put it in the pantry for later. Veggies are also great to buy in bulk because they can be frozen if they aren’t all used.
Not to mention buying in bulk is almost always cheaper on a per item basis.
A very simple way to save money during this time of year is to have each guest bring something for lunch/dinner. This is an easy way to spread the cost to everyone in order to lessen the burden of the host. It will also make the guests feel good knowing they contributed to the celebration.
Thanksgiving really is a wonderful holiday. There is always great food and great company. This is also a perfect time to reflect and be thankful for what we have.
This holiday, though dwarfed by what follows, can be costly. Use some of these tips to lessen the blow to your wallet. You are then able to worry about money less and enjoy the holiday more.
If you’re looking for even more Thanksgiving savings ideas, check out this helpful video:
Photo: Olin Gilbert
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