If you’re going to host Thanksgiving this year, you may be concerned that will be an expensive experience. This can leave you too stressed to enjoy the holiday for what it really is – a lovely time to get together with your family and appreciate your blessings.
Would you be surprised to hear that it is entirely possible to host an amazing, delicious Thanksgiving dinner, even when you are on a budget? These tips can help you have a wonderful celebration and save money!
How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget
I’ll be honest. I am not always a potluck fan. When I invite people over for dinner, I want them to be able to just show up and relax. I don’t want them stressing over having to bring something.
But, if you are normally the holiday hero, taking care of every item on the menu, you might consider taking a step back. A big holiday meal might just be a time to set aside any potluck misgivings you have! After all, it is a great way to ensure that everything is taken care of without breaking the bank or overdoing it in the kitchen. The good news is, everyone will get something they love.
Make a List
Write out a budget and a menu and stick to it. This is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your spending and you don’t go overboard with the menu. If you create your lists far enough in advance, you can even make sure that you pick up certain non-perishable or freezable items on sale, saving even more.
Cook from Scratch
When you buy prepackaged items, you are usually going to pay more for a lower quality product. Instead of those instant mashed potatoes or boxed stuffing, make it all by hand using ingredients you most likely have in your pantry.
Give High Priority to Must Haves
It is entirely unnecessary to have 20 different side dishes at Thanksgiving. Pick a few you feel you must have and forgo the rest. There is no need to go overboard and it will save you money and food waste. And, if you are serving less, you will be more likely to opt for the from scratch options, saving you even more money.
Consider varying your main dish from the traditional. Isn’t it really the experience of gathering the family around the table to break bread together that really matters? If you can’t afford the spiral sliced ham you usually serve, opt for something less expensive this year.
Use Décor you Already Have
Going overboard on décor and table settings can quickly destroy your budget. Instead of heading out to buy trendy new items each year, use what you have on hand. In fact, there’s something special about bringing out the familiar year after year.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match too! This may include versatile plates and serving dishes, plain napkins and glasses. By not going for a matchy-matchy look, you can use a variety of items and add some extra color and texture to your table setting.
When creating a centerpiece, you can easily use what you find outdoors. Freshly fallen leaves, decorative squash and pine cones can go a long way to making your Thanksgiving table beautiful. You could even task the kids with going outside to gather up items for this!
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to break the bank to be fun and delicious. One year, my daughter and I were unable to cope with a big feast because of our health. So, we opted for a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
We had a mishmash of simple foods and treats we enjoy and ate it in bed while watching movies. We often speak of this as one of our favourite Thanksgivings ever! If you just keep your eye on what’s most important and simplify as needed, you might even create a new tradition!