10 Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving on a Budget

Frugal Farm Girl
by Frugal Farm Girl

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Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and celebrate with family and friends. But, let’s be honest, it can also be a costly holiday. The expenses can quickly add up between the turkey, stuffing, side dishes, and pies. Not to mention the stress that comes with planning and possibly those who will be attending.

If you’re looking to save this Thanksgiving, check out these ten tips for celebrating Thanksgiving on a budget.

Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to save money is to plan. This may seem like a no-brainer, but planning and knowing how much you can afford to spend on Thanksgiving dinner is essential.

Make a list of who you’re inviting and what dishes you need to prepare. This will help you avoid overspending on food and supplies you don’t need. Make a list of all the items you need and compare prices at different stores.

Make it a Potluck

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be expensive. Cut costs by making it a potluck and bringing your guests their favorite dishes. Not only will this save you money, but it will also lighten your load in the kitchen.

Shop Smart

When shopping for groceries, take advantage of sales and coupons. You can also stretch your dollar by buying generic brands or items on sale. Most stores have Thanksgiving-themed sales in the week leading up to the holiday, so keep your eyes peeled!

Buying in bulk can also help you save big on Thanksgiving dinner. Take advantage of bulk discounts at your local grocery store if you have a large family or are hosting friends for a holiday.

My favorite way to prepare for Thanksgiving is to use our Wholesale club memberships.

I tend to shop at BJ’s the most because it’s the closest to us, but you can sign up for a $25 BJs membership for the year and save so much! Sam’s club membership is only $24.99 right now too!

You can use cashback apps like Ibotta, Fetch, and Shopkick that run special holiday deals.

Use What You Have

Take inventory of what you already have in your pantry and fridge before heading to the store. Chances are you have most, if not all, of the ingredients you need to make your favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Even if you don’t have one or two ingredients use the internet to your advantage and see what substitutes you can use for certain dishes.

Cut Down on Waste

Plan portions carefully when cooking your holiday meal so there’s less food waste. If you end up with leftovers, repurpose them into new dishes or freeze them for another time. I love the Thanksgiving leftovers and will freeze a bunch of them, so we can pull them out further down the road.

Get Creative With Decor

There’s no need to go out and buy new decorations every year. Get creative with what you have and DIY your own Thanksgiving decorations using items from around the house. Take a walk around your yard and see if there is anything you can bring inside to decorate.

Check out this post of tips to decorate using what you already have.

Skip The Turkey

They say turkey prices will be higher this year; why not skip Turkey and do a chicken instead? This is an excellent option if you are having a smaller get-together.

Pay Attention to Sales

This year retailers are starting Black Friday deals i n October! While that might make you roll your eyes, it’s good news for us deal seekers. This means we can start looking and purchasing items we know are a good deal.

I see at least 50% off many items already, which is always a price to stock up at.

Everything will be up from last year’s prices, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good deal now. Keep an eye on frozen and canned goods now too, because these items will last a long time in your freezer or pantry.

Give Thoughtful (and inexpensive) Gifts

It shows your loved ones how much you care without breaking the bank. Homemade gifts are always a hit, or consider giving an experience instead of a material item.

Go Easy On Alcohol

Alcohol can quickly increase your grocery bill. Stick to one or two signature cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages instead.

Make Your Sides From Scratch

As tempting as buying things premade, you will pay a lot more for the convenience. You get a lot more per serving when you make your side dishes. If you make your stuffing from a loaf of bread, you will get way more than you would buy several boxes of stuffing.

Store-bought pies can be expensive, so why not make your own? You can find great recipes online or in cookbooks. And, if you’re not a fan of baking, there are plenty of no-bake pie recipes out there, too!

Check out 50 cheap and fun side dishes for Thanksgiving here.

Have Fun

After all, Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends, not how much money you spend. Relax, enjoy yourself, and be thankful for what you have.

Thanksgiving is a cherished holiday where we give thanks and celebrate with family and friends. But it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

By following these ten tips, you can save money and still have a memorable Thanksgiving celebration. From potlucks and DIY decorations to thoughtful (but inexpensive) gifts, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without blowing your budget!

Frugal Farm Girl
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