Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, and pretty much stuffing ourselves with too much food. It seems that can be done on a limited budget if necessary. So how can we cut expenses while still putting out a spread of food that's to die for? With a bit of creativity, it can be done very easily.
Shop the warehouse stores
You will find some great bargains on all sorts of Thanksgiving items at warehouse stores. They carry a large stock of frozen turkeys and other items, including decorations. Because the Thanksgiving season is so short, they may even put a lot of their stock on sale to prepare for Christmas.
Wait until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to buy your groceries and turkey. Stores will be trying to get rid of Thanksgiving supplies, especially overstocked turkeys, and start preparing for Christmas. Bring your coupons, and only purchase sale items.
Change the menu
You don't have to have turkey and cranberries for Thanksgiving. What you need is a nice meal. Buy meat that is on sale because there isn't as much of a demand for it during this time of year. Then get your fixings to go with it using the same strategy.
Make food from scratch
Most ingredients are a lot cheaper than premade dishes. Take the time to do the extra work and make homemade food for Thanksgiving dinner. You'll probably yield a lot more per person, and you may end up having leftover ingredients to use for Christmas dishes too.
Here are some of my favorites:
Host a potluck Thanksgiving
Share the joy of the season, and let everyone contribute to part of the meal. There's no reason one person has to pay the entire bill for a gigantic feast, especially when budgets are tight. If you volunteer to host Thanksgiving and cook the turkey, chances are everyone else will be willing to bring the trimmings.
Use natural decorations
Tree branches and colorful leaves are free and can usually be found right in your own neighborhood. Big, long, skinny branches can be tied into an autumn wreath that you can decorate with seasonally colored ribbon. If the wreath is small enough, you can put a candle in the center of it and use it as a centerpiece for your table.
Take a day trip instead of cooking
How often does your family get a Thursday off together? Plan a trip to a favorite outside destination, and bring along some sandwiches, fruit, and drinks. Then go hiking, or window shopping, or hang by a local lake to read and fish. There's no law that says anyone has to eat a ton of food to celebrate Thanksgiving properly.
Make a new tradition, and enjoy a family outing doing something you rarely have time for instead. A family hike, a trip to a local wildlife preserve or park are great ideas even in colder climates.
If you're ready to plan your holiday budget grab my free printable worksheets today. This simple set of worksheets will help you plan your expenses for the holiday season.