Practical Ways to Cut the Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner

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For many families and friends, Thanksgiving is a time to gather, catch up, and have a good time over good food. However, if you are the one hosting the Thanksgiving dinner, it can also be a lot of stress, and cause a dent in your finances, especially if you haven’t budgeted for this giant celebration. From grocery shopping to turkey preparation to decorating your abode, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner can blow up if you aren’t careful.

Fortunately, you still have some time. So, what can you do to minimize the expenses for this year’s Thanksgiving? Here are some tips to help.

  1. Do a head count as early as possible. When you count your guests or family members early on, you can easily start planning on your grocery shopping and how much food you should buy. This way, you’re less likely to waste money on over purchasing items and ingredients for your dinner. It’s okay to make a little extra food if there will be one or two unexpected guests who pop by. However, keep in mind that too much extra food will be a waste. Be sure to confirm with your guests so you have a solid idea of how many people to expect.
  2. Check your pantry and see what ingredients you have on hand. Don’t just make a list and beeline to the grocery store. Go ahead and check your pantry for the stock items you already have. It might surprise you how many Thanksgiving-friendly ingredients you already have at home. Check your pantry first and then cross those items from your list so you don’t end up spending money on items you don’t need.
  3. Consider your menu and plan to cook from scratch. Don’t fall into traditional food traps – just because it’s a staple Thanksgiving food, doesn’t mean you have to make it. If no one eats it and it’s just there because of tradition, then essentially, you’ve wasted your money and effort in making it. You can actually save money making your dishes from scratch rather than buying store-bought or ready-made meals.
  4. Suggest a potluck style dinner. If you have a lot of people coming over, you can also suggest a potluck-style dinner to cut the cost of Thanksgiving dinner.  and take note of the food your guests will bring so that there won’t be triple of the same kind of food at your dinner. This way, you won’t be too stressed in thinking if you’ve made enough food for 20 people or more.

Your Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be a budget buster. Follow these simple ways to cut down on your expenses. If you have any other ways to shave down the cost of Thanksgiving dinner, share it on the comments below!

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