Most people who host family dinners on Thanksgiving will tell you that they can get pretty expensive. From the large turkey to the abundance of desserts, it doesn’t take much to rack up a large grocery bill for Thanksgiving, especially if you are inviting a lot of people. If you want to save some money this Thanksgiving, use these tips and tricks to save a few bucks.
Get a Headcount for Dinner
An important aspect of preparing a Thanksgiving dinner is making sure that you have enough food for everyone that is coming. One problem is that many people overestimate how much food is necessary, so they end up buying too much food, and it goes to waste.
Make a list of people who are coming, so you can determine how much food you have to buy. As Thanksgiving gets closer, you should check to see if everyone is still attending. Some people may have to cancel, and if you are aware of this early, you can save a little bit on your dinner.
Have Guests Bring a Dish
Just because you are hosting the dinner doesn’t mean you have to prepare all the food yourself. Call your guests ahead of time and ask them if they could bring a side dish. By having your guests prepare some of the food you can save money for other things.
If you have family members who specialize in making certain dishes, ask them to cook them. For example, if one of your family members makes a really good pumpkin pie, ask him or her to make one, so you don’t have to buy one. Dinners get expensive when a lot of people are involved, so try to convince your guests to help out.
Shop Early & Look for Discounts
Try to purchase your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients as soon as you can. Lots of meat, fruits, and vegetables go on sale at supermarkets, so try to pick these up early to buy them at reasonable prices. If you wait too long, you’ll have to settle for the price they offer the week before Thanksgiving, and when you shop closer to a holiday, prices tend to be much higher.
Besides shopping early, there are other ways to get Thanksgiving food at lower prices. Try going online to compare prices at food stores to see where you can get food at a fair price. Additionally, keep an eye out for discount coupons online or in the newspaper because these can also help you keep costs down.
Keep Dinner Simple
Another reason why many Thanksgiving dinners are expensive is because people like to be experimental. People like to serve recipes they see online, and some of them require a lot of expensive ingredients to make. If you want to keep your Thanksgiving costs down, focus on serving simple recipes you know your family will enjoy.
Remember that during a Thanksgiving dinner, you could be serving a large group of people. You have to make sure there is enough food for each person, so if it costs a lot of money to serve a particular dish, you have to spend a lot of money to prepare enough servings for everyone. If you want to try new recipes or dishes, consider serving them during smaller get-togethers, so you don’t have to make and spend as much.
Make Your Own Thanksgiving Decorations
A lot of people like to decorate their houses for Thanksgiving, and certain decorations can get costly. Consider crafting your own homemade decorations if you want to make your house look good for Thanksgiving without having to spend a lot of money.
For example, you can use colored leaves from outside to make a banner you can hang over the fireplace. You can also make centerpieces for the dinner table out of apples, pumpkins, flowers, and other items. There are a lot of different DIY decorations you can make for Thanksgiving, so look online and see what you can find.