Thanksgiving is days away and many people are pulling together the menus for their feast. The average American family spends around $50 on their Thanksgiving Day meal. If you’re trying to trim the cost of yours, here are a few frugal Thanksgiving menu ideas.
Frugal Thanksgiving Menu Ideas
First, it is possible to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal on a budget. You don’t have to skip on the turkey or other fixings to keep it budget-friendly. At our home this year, the Thanksgiving menu is as follows:
- 15 lb. turkey: We paid $4.10 for our Thanksgiving turkey this year with a deal at Food Lion. All you needed to do was purchase $35 worth of groceries and you got your turkey for $0.27 per pound. Look out for deals near you!
- Stuffing: You can get a box of StoveTop stuffing for $2.
- Gravy: Gravy, if you have flour on hand, won’t cost a dime. Simply use the drippings from your turkey, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix it together over medium heat until the desired consistency.
- Dinner rolls: You can grab pre-made dinner rolls for around $3. However, if you have some flour, yeast, milk, sugar, and margarine on hand you can make them from scratch without spending any extra money!
- Mashed potatoes: The number of potatoes you’ll use to make mashed potatoes for the family will cost around $1.50.
- Green bean casserole: If you want green bean casserole on the table, you can pick up the necessary items for about $5.50. Those shopping at Aldi may be able to get it even cheaper.
- Sweet potato casserole: Use canned sweet potatoes and make a sweet potato casserole for around $8.
- Mac and cheese: Homemade mac n’ cheese is a must on our table. It costs about $8 for a HUGE batch and we always have leftovers.
- Dessert: Depending on what you’re looking for, you can get most desserts done for under $5. Our homemade pumpkin pie costs about $4.
All in all, Thanksgiving is going to cost our family $36 and we will have a TON of leftovers. If the frugal Thanksgiving menu above doesn’t suit you, you may also consider some of these ways to save on the Turkey Day meal.
More Ways to Save on Thanksgiving
- Skip turkey: Although turkey is much more affordable at this time of year, you may want to consider a new main dish to save money. Some families have decided to make a big batch of spaghetti instead of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
- Use canned and frozen: As you probably know, fresh veggies can be expensive. When at all possible, use canned and frozen when prepping for Thanksgiving.
- Only make one: A lot of the time people tend to go overboard when it comes to the holidays. This leads to going over budget and spending way more than necessary. If you’ve planned to make more than one of anything, don’t. You only need one!
- Skim the sides: In all reality, do you really need five different carb-based sides on the table? Consider skimming the sides down to two or three of your favorites.
- Casseroles: Don’t underestimate the power of a good casserole! Because they are typically recipes that you dump ingredients into and bake, you can usually get these done quickly with little money spent.
One of the easiest ways to save is to plan ahead, make a budget, and stick to it. This year, we budgeted $40 for the holiday. As you can see, we are spending less than we initially planned. Careful planning and shopping around is the best way to keep your Thanksgiving feast affordable.
Readers, do you have any frugal Thanksgiving menu items you’d add to the list?