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Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Are you starting to stress out about the expense of it all? I get it. Thanksgiving dinner is expensive, especially if you are cooking for a crowd. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, as of 2018, the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner was close to $50. That may not seem like a lot, but that can be a big chunk of your monthly grocery budget! Plus, this amount is only taking into account the food. Not the drinks, not the decor, just food. All of those extras can really add up! That doesn’t mean you have to let the expenses get out of control, though. Check out these great tips for saving money on Thanksgiving dinner and see how low your bill can go.
7 Genius Tips for Saving Money on Thanksgiving Dinner
1. Prepare your Guest List
The amount of money you spend on Thanksgiving dinner will be directly affected by the amount of people that you have on your guest list. If you have only a few people, you only need a small turkey and less food overall. However, the more people you have, the more food you will need. It’s best to know what your guest list looks like before you start planning your menu, and therefore, your shopping list.
2. Prepare Your Menu
Now that you know how many people will be joining you for Thanksgiving dinner, you can start planning your menu. You will know how big of a turkey you need, how many pies you need, etc. Make sure to check in with your guests and find out if there are any special food requirements or allergies in case you need to factor that into your budget.
3. Stick with One Main Dish
Many people buy a turkey and ham for their holiday dinner or brunch. If you are really focused on keeping your budget under control, stick with just one or the other of these big ticket items. This can easily save you $10 to $20.
4. Grab a Free (or Discounted) Turkey
Just about every grocery store has a big turkey deal during November. Many offer a free turkey with a specific dollar amount spent on other groceries. Some just offer super inexpensive turkeys when you spend a specific amount on other groceries. Either way, snag these deals! I recommend getting your turkey deal early when you are doing your grocery shopping for the month that way you aren’t tempted to spend more money on your Thanksgiving dinner just to spend less on a turkey.
5. Start Early
Like I mentioned earlier, grab that turkey early when you are grocery shopping for the month. If you see something on sale and you know you are going to be needing it for Thanksgiving, grab it! No need to wait and find it more expensive later. Stock up on baking essentials and spices when you can find them at a discount.
6. Let Your Guests Contribute
When you send your invites out, you will most likely get a reply that sounds something like this: “What can I bring?” Take them up on their offer! It’s less work for you to do and less money for you to spend! Plus, people really do like to contribute.
7. Dollar Store Decorations for the Win
If you do decide to grab some decor, do it on the cheap. Thanksgiving is one day. There is no reason to break the bank over decor that you can use one time. If you want to decorate, head to the dollar store. You can buy some super cute decor pieces there, and you won’t feel bad about throwing them out once the holiday is over. You can also enlist the kids to create some fall crafts and display those.
8. Use Those Leftovers!
You can eat the leftover side dishes with new entrees and use these leftover turkey recipes to mix things up a bit. Eating leftovers doesn’t have to be boring and will help you spend a little less on your grocery bill during the week following Thanksgiving!
What are your favorite tips for saving money on Thanksgiving dinner?