Wondering how to save money on Thanksgiving dinner? With the prices of food on the rise, Thanksgiving dinner can get pretty expensive.
A turkey alone can run you up to $30 or more depending on where you are from. It’s not just the turkey that can get expensive, other ingredients for your favorite recipes are on the rise too.
Thanksgiving is all about getting friends and family together to celebrate. We love filling the table with our favorite foods, watching football, and spending time with loved ones. If you are on a budget, planning for a large Thanksgiving menu can be hard, especially with prices like that.
How To Save Money On Thanksgiving Dinner
Over the years we have become more budget-friendly. Saving money whenever and however we can especially when it comes to food. The holidays were always the worst because we had to buy extra food for a crowd. Through the years though, we have stuck with some of our favorite ways to save money on Thanksgiving dinner.
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1. Plan Your Thanksgiving Menu Early
Get a head start before the holiday and start planning your Thanksgiving meal early. Make your menu realistic with dishes that you know the family will eat. When you plan your menu, don’t go crazy with the number of dishes you serve.
Create your shopping list so that you have it on hand and easily accessible. Many stores start early when it comes to Thanksgiving sales so you can keep an eye out for any sales as you shop.
2. Only Make What You Need
We spent years making huge Thanksgiving meals. We always enjoyed having a table full of delicious Thanksgiving foods and desserts. Most of which either went home with friends or family or sat in the fridge for days.
We always enjoyed the leftovers, but we had more than we needed and most of it was pitched shortly after. I mean, you can only eat leftover turkey and Thanksgiving side dishes for so long, right?
Making only what you need and not overdoing it when it comes to the menu can help tremendously. If you do rely on or want some leftovers, you can still scale back just a little and plan for leftovers.
Don’t feel pressured to make 8 different side dishes and 10 different desserts. Friends and family will enjoy whatever is on the table and less food will go to waste.
3. Use Frozen or Canned Foods
When it comes to vegetable dishes, most of the time canned or frozen veggies will work for the recipe. Canned foods can go a long way when it comes to stocking your pantry on a budget.
Canned and frozen foods are also much cheaper than purchasing fresh food. Plus, they can be purchased early and stored in the cabinet or freezer for future use.
4. Shop for Thanksgiving Food in November
With most things, it is best to start shopping early. However, Thanksgiving is different. Most of the sales for holiday foods and necessary ingredients start in November. Turkey, canned foods, and boxed meals (if you use them) are usually the first to go on sale.
To help save money on Thanksgiving dinner, take advantage of those deals. And, to save even more money throughout the year, stock up on those sale prices so that you can use the food throughout the year.
5. Use Coupons & Store Discounts
While coupons may not be as big as they were, they are still around and can help you save. Check online or in the store aisles for your favorite foods to see if there are any coupons available.
During the holidays, stores often do special discounts that can also be paired with coupons. Keep an eye out for the flyers and take advantage of those deals if you can!
6. Make Your Own Thanksgiving Table Settings
Creating your own table settings for Thanksgiving can be a huge money saver. There are plenty of ideas out there, especially on Pinterest, that are budget-friendly if not extremely cheap.
For instance, instead of buying those expensive decorations at the store, make your own fall Dollar Store crafts. The supplies are inexpensive and you can make great-looking decorations to place on the table.
7. Use Smaller Plates
This is a nifty little trick that we do all year long. Instead of using huge plates that you can fit piles of food on, use smaller plates.
Having smaller plates can help you eat less. Smaller plates are also cheaper to purchase. Not only will you be saving some money on Thanksgiving dinner, but you will eat smaller portions. As an added bonus, smaller plates will help avoid wasting food.
8. Go Easy on the Drinks
One of our downfalls, when it came to any type of dinner we were hosting, was buying too many drinks. We always over-purchased or made more than we needed.
Keep your drink options simple and make as many of them as you can. Buy the less expensive soda, make your own tea or other favorite drinks at home, and offer only a few choices. You can always have water as an option for those who don’t like your choices.
Saving Money on Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving is meant to be spent with friends and family, but you don’t have to go broke enjoying the day.
These are just a few simple tips and tricks that you can do to help save money on your Thanksgiving Dinner.
Bonus tip: Turn down the heat! With a house full of people, it can get warm quickly. Turn the heat down to keep everyone cool while you save some extra money.