With the rising costs of food, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner could go up. Use these tips to host a frugal Thanksgiving dinner that is delicious and fun for all who join you.
Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner you might be wondering if it’s possible to host a frugal Thanksgiving dinner. No shame in that, as everyone loves to save a bit of money when they can! There are quite a few things you can do to ensure that you host an amazing and frugal Thanksgiving dinner and this guide will surely help you do just that!
How to Host a Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner
There are a number of ways that you can cut costs on your Thanksgiving dinner party without compromising on the flavor of your dishes and while still enjoying your favorite family traditions.
Make a plan!
If you plan ahead, you can budget for the items you need and have time to look for the best sales. You can use this free printable Thanksgiving planner to create a plan for a lovely, delicious, and frugal Thanksgiving feast for your family.
Shop for vegetables at a farmer’s market.
The prices are usually lower than at the grocery store. Since Thanksgiving dinner includes a lot of vegetable-based side dishes, you’ll find that saving money on vegetables will take a huge chunk out of your Thanksgiving dinner bill, allowing you to host a much more frugal Thanksgiving dinner.
If you don’t have a farmer’s market in your area, then check the sales flyers for your local grocery stores. You will probably find great deals on potatoes and perhaps some of the other veggies. If a particular vegetable is expensive in the produce section, then check the price in the freezer section. As a bonus, the frozen vegetables are already washed and cut so you not only save money but also save time on food prep.
Make desserts at home instead of buying them.
Store-bought pies and desserts can be extremely convenient during the Thanksgiving season, especially with all the other cooking you have to do for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. If you have time, making pies and desserts ahead of time rather than buying from the store will save a lot of money. With premade desserts and goodies you’re essentially paying extra for convenience, and you’ll find that making from at home will cost less and taste better. Here is a delicious pumpkin pie recipe that is easy to make.
Encourage family and friends to bring sides as a potluck.
Encouraging family and friends to bring their own side dishes not only helps you save a chunk of money, it helps you free up some preparation time and also gives everyone a chance to bring their “specialty” dish to dinner and share with everyone! It’s a great way to help ensure that you have a delicious Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.
Get only as much turkey as you need.
You often hear about people eating so much leftover turkey after Thanksgiving that they’re completely sick of it! This can be avoided by buying a turkey that satisfies everyone’s dinner needs and only leaves less leftovers. Sometimes it can be easy to go overboard and grab the biggest turkey you find, but turkeys can be expensive and by buying the right amount you can save a lot of money. If you do buy too much turkey, check out these leftover turkey recipes so none of it goes to waste.
Sometimes stores will offer a free turkey if you buy a certain dollar amount of food, check to see if this is actually a good deal because it isn’t always. If it is, then pool your regular grocery shopping with your Thanksgiving dinner shopping so you can easily hit that dollar amount and get your turkey for free.
Check for sales and coupons.
Your local grocery store will often have great sales on the packaged items associated with Thanksgiving dinner such as crescent rolls, sparkling cider, and boxed stuffing. Be sure to check the store fliers ahead of time so you can take advantage of the low prices on any of the packaged foods you are planning on serving. You can save even more when you pair a coupon with a sale price. Here are some printable coupons. Also, be sure to check Ibotta for deals.
Save on décor.
Shop your own home first! You don’t need a lot of expensive items to create a lovely table. You don’t need a new tablecloth, use a solid-colored tablecloth or skip the tablecloth and make a table runner from a piece of burlap. Check your cupboards for candles and candle holders. It’s okay if they have been used already, just stagger the heights to create an asymmetrical arrangement for your used candles.
Can any of your Halloween items that don’t have Jack o’ lantern faces on them be reused for your Thanksgiving decor? Wash the paint off those baby pumpkins and use them in your centerpiece.
The rustic look is a lovely theme for Thanksgiving. Check your yard for greenery, branches, and pinecones that you can use to create a centerpiece for your table.
If you’re planning on adding festive décor to your Thanksgiving celebration, shop places like Goodwill and yard sales! You’d be surprised to find some incredible decorations that people just don’t want anymore, and while they’re used, they’re usually in great condition and you can score them extremely cheap!