I'm in a wee bit of a hurry. I have a two year old waiting at the table crying "Eeeeeeat! Eeeeeeat!" so I haven't much time for an introduction. I will say that if you're on a budget or hosting your firts Thanksgiving, below are 10 ways to save big on this glorious holiday. Enjoy!
▲▲ Stick with the Classics - If you're on a tight budget you might want to refrain from adding in new dishes to your menu. Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition and those foods are expected and often well anticipated so I'm sure none of your guest will be disappointed if you stick with the same old line up.
▲▲ Narrow Down Your Menu - All my life my mom's Thanksgiving menu has been as follows: Turkey and dressing, ham, green beans, cornbread, creamed corn, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad, collard greens, three pies and a cake. Not that I'm complaining because it's all so delicious but is it really necessary to have Turkey AND ham? Mashed potatoes AND potato salad? Dressing AND cornbread? And three pies? Holy moly! Cutting back on your menu will not only save you money, but precious time as well!
▲▲ Go off-Brand - Off-brand products are often times just as good as the original. They're already inexpensive and will most likely go on sale before Thanksgiving. You can cut your Thanksgiving grocery bill in half by taking advantage of off-brand on sale!
▲▲ Say NO to Disposable - Even though the idea of simply throwing away your plates after Thanksgiving sound absolutely heavenly - the convenience of it will cost you. So get fancy with "real" dishes and cloth napkins and skip buying paper plates, plastic cups, disposable cutlery, paper napkins and single-use cooking dishes.
▲▲ Go Homemade - If you're looking to have a frugal Thanksgiving, buying prepackaged food and catering are definitely not the way to go. A local business where I live is charging $25 for a sweet potato casserole and $25 for green beans and new potatoes - each dish has enough for 6-8 people. That's $50 for only two dishes! If made from scratch, a sweet potato casserole should cost you no more than $15 and green beans and new potatoes, less than $10.
▲▲ Get Your Decorations from Mother Nature - instead of buying centerpieces and other themed decor for your home, try going outside and seeing what world has to offer. Colorful leaves, dried grass and herbs cost nothing! All you need is a little bit of imagination or some good inspiration from Pinterest!
▲▲ Provide Appetizers - Giving your guest something to nibble on before dinner can help cut down on the need for so much food as well as food waste. Something inexpensive like a simple veggie tray or cheese and crackers should do the trick!
▲▲ Skip the Booze: Cutting out fancy cocktails, beer and wine can save you a significant amount of money and just might help prevent your uncle's awkward drunken Thanksgiving toast. But if you insist on having a little sippy-sue, go for a large box of highly rated wine or go strictly BYOB.
▲▲Go Potluck Style - Don't be afraid to ask guests to pitch in! Simply contact your guest and either ask them what they would like to bring or assign a dish for each family. All you'll need to do is provide the turkey, but you just might get lucky enough to have someone offer to bring that too!