Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to share a beautiful meal with family and friends, but it can also be stressful if it’s your turn to host and your budget isn’t as plentiful as you had hoped. Here are some tips on how to have a memorable Thanksgiving without going broke in the process.
- No shame in the potluck game. Make things easy on yourself and provide the turkey, while each guest is asked to bring their favorite side dish to share. It can really take the pressure off you, and spice things up come dinner time with a variety of different flavors to explore.
- Skip the alcohol. The thought of not having a cocktail in-hand as your uncle Bob tells the story of how he met your aunt Martha for the 600th time can seem unbearable, but alcohol is really expensive and can tack several hundred dollars on to the total price of your meal. If you really need a little libation to get through the day, you could ask guests to bring a bottle or two of wine, but whatever you do, skip the liquor aisle when you shop for your Thanksgiving groceries.
- DIY décor. Skip the fancy party store décor and use what you can find in your own “backyard” such as festive fall leaves, acorns, and more. You can also use a vase you already have for this DIY Thanksgiving centerpiece, or try this leafy candle variation. While we’re in the DIY spirit…
- DIY Desserts. Sure it can be time consuming, but consider making your own pumpkin pies, cheesecakes, and trifles for a fraction of the cost of a specialty holiday dessert. A store or restaurant-bought pie can run upwards of $20 per pie, while $20 can buy enough ingredients to make as many as four pies – enough to feed a decent size crowd. Pro-tip: if you plan ahead you can buy frozen pie dough when it’s on sale and save yourself a ton of time.
- Place setting savvy. If you don’t have elegant plates and flatware at home but hate the thought of serving such a lovely meal on paper plates, ask a friend who is going out of town if you can borrow theirs. They won’t be using them anyway, and you can have the lovely meal you imagined without spending any additional money. You can always thank them by returning the dishes filled with scrumptious thanksgiving leftovers.
Bonus tip: Make use of your leftovers for days to come with meals like turkey noodle soup and grilled cheese, turkey melts, or these tasty Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffles (they’re amazing, seriously!).
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from the Freedom Debt Relief family!