7 Tips for a Budget Friendly Thanksgiving

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by on November 7, 2013

tips for a budget friendly thanksgivingThanksgiving reminds us to be thankful for what we have, cherish our loved ones, and enjoy a feast together. As you are preparing your Thanksgiving feast and creating the list of items that you are thankful for, add this: You can celebrate your Thanksgiving feast and enjoy knowing that you didn’t spend a fortune. Check out my simple tips for creating a budget friendly Thanksgiving below:

1. Break out the good dishes. Instead of buying disposable plates, napkins, tablecloths, or utensils, use what you have on hand. Although you may save time on clean up, you’ll end up spending more money for the convenience. Using what you have on hand won’t just help your pocket book, but using less waste will also help the environment. Not looking forward to all the dishes? Just ask those cherished loved ones to help in the clean up and you’ll also save on time!

2. Take advantage of free turkey promotions. Many of the grocery stores will run promotions to either get a free turkey or a nice percentage off. You may be required to spend a certain amount of money get the promotion, but if you look for store deals and match those with coupons, you’ll have an even better deal while getting all the necessities for your Thanksgiving meal.

3. Stick to your shopping list. Make your grocery list before you go to the store to make sure you only buy the items that you need. This will also save you on making multiple last minute trips to the grocery store in the days before the feast. Look over all your recipes, check your cupboards, and decide what items you need to buy and those that you already have. Match up the items that you plan to buy with store sales and coupons. It is easy to buy more than you need at the grocery store, but if you have a list and stick to it, you’ll end up saving at the checkout line!

Tip: You can find many printable coupons to save on your Thanksgiving meal at Coupons.com, RedPlum, or Smartsource.

4. Make your own decorations. This is a great tip to get the kids involved in the Thanksgiving preparations. Use items from nature, such as leaves, pinecones, twigs, and pumpkins. Gather pine cones in a large vase and add some fresh cinnamon sticks to create a festive decorative piece. The traditional kid’s craft of a hand print turkey can also create a family friendly atmosphere. And here are a few more ideas:

5. Enjoy a Thanksgiving potluck. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Involve your dinner guests and ask them to bring their favorite dish, dessert, or drink. Not only will this help to cut down on the host’s cost, but it also allows guests to share their own specialties. Need some recipe inspiration for what you will make, check out these recipes:

6. Use the oven wisely. Plan your cooking to use the oven all at one time (instead of days ahead). Heat items up together in the oven after the turkey is done and have everything done at the same time, in less time. If you have a toaster oven, you can try heating up side dishes there as well. Don’t forget the Bar-b-que. Not only can you cook the meat on the grill, but grilled vegetables and bread can also to a nice touch to your Thanksgiving dinner.

7. Be realistic about servings. Calculate how much you need to make for the amount of people, keeping in mind that there will be several dishes. Leftovers are good, but decide ahead of time how much you want so that there is no waste.

Those are my 7 tips, now I’d love to hear some of yours! How do you help save at Thanksgiving?

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