The Skinny Thanksgiving Dinner: 7 Helpful Tips to hold a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner

Who doesn’t enjoy Thanksgiving? Well l for one am super excited because Thanksgiving is right around the corner. What if I told you that you can host Thanksgiving dinner, make your mortgage payment as scheduled, and not run up heavy credit card debt all by following these helpful tips. If you follow these 7 tips, you should enjoy holding your Thanksgiving dinner without relying on high interest rate credit cards or accumulating overdraft fees to help you purchase all the supplies you will need!

  1. Hold a Potluck Style Thanksgiving Dinner. Holding a potluck style dinner will help to focus your money, and time on the turkey and a couple of other main dishes. Your guests should be willing to contribute a dish or dessert to the budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner. Just let them know ahead of time what they need to bring and how much. Keep a list of each dish and who is bringing it to avoid multiple dishes that taste similar.Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the extended family while trying to stick to a budget can be tough but with some planning, these tips, and extra focus you will not go overboard.
  2. Serve soup and appetizers before your Thanksgiving dinner. I know that this may go against everything you have done in the past, but we must focus on our goal; which is to have a budget-friendly holiday meal with our family and friends. So starting out the holiday meal with a harvesty type soup or appetizer may help you spend less on the more expensive main course items. The more that your guests eat of soups and appetizers, the less they will be able to eat during the dinner. (Although, we will always have those family members that go into a full on turkey coma.)
  3. Schedule a free counseling session with a certified financial services specialist. Our certified counselors will assist you in managing your budget and your household expenses. Counselors understand the anxiety associated with your financial concerns. Most clients leave the appointment with an action plan and the confidence to improve their financial health. Often, a comprehensive counseling session, which includes a review of your budget, and a realistic action plan is offered free of charge in the office, over the phone, or online.  You should enjoy hosting the Thanksgiving dinner without new financial challenges, such as overdraft fees and a maxed out credit cards. Credit counselors can assist with this and can also assist in creating a realistic savings plan.
  4. Put together your budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner menu early. The sooner you have your dinner menu, the sooner you can go shopping. Take your budget conscious Thanksgiving dinner list with you during your trips to the store during the entire month of November. Attempt to purchase these items while they are on sale. Typically you will cut costs by going to the grocery store weeks before Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that frozen turkey is usually cheaper than fresh turkey, larger turkeys are usually cheaper per pound than smaller ones, and nothing is more economical or cheaper than a free turkey. Some grocery stores run specials giving away free turkey as a part of their rewards program. Check your local grocery stores for the free turkey promotion or reward program. Most importantly, stick to the grocery list, look for weekly sales, stick to your budget, and enjoy hosting the Thanksgiving dinner without acquiring new financial challenges, such as overdraft fees and a maxed out credit cards. For additional tips regarding planning your menu around items on sale, please see the blog post Tailgating on a Budget at https://apprisenmoneyminute.com/2017/10/26/tailgating-on-a-budget-8-cheap-and-easy-tips-to-host-a-budget-friendly-tailgate/ to obtain tips regarding planning your menu around items on sale. The decisions you make today, may affect your ability to get credit in the future. Our certified counselors will assist you in managing your budget and your household expenses.
  5. Set a budget for your budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner. It is easy to break the budget while attempting to make a good impression during the holiday season. Which is why it is so important to set a budget, and then stick with it. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the extended family, while trying to stick to a budget is tough. With some planning, these tips, and focus, you will not go overboard. Just because you set a goal for how much you want to spend does not mean your meal won’t be delicious!
  6. Check your refrigerator, pantry and cupboard before heading to the store to pick up the ingredients for your budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner. Sticking to a budget can be a tough thing to pull off. So, take a look at what you have around your kitchen before making out the grocery list. This tip should help you to avoid double-buying. Helpful tip: Unlike most Thanksgiving favorites, ready-made pie crust is cheaper than making it from scratch.
  7. Plan to continue to save money by using the leftovers to make future meals. Using leftovers that allow you to do more with less. Your leftovers give you the gift of extra time, and energy to focus on things other than shopping and meal planning for the next couple of days. Plan to continue to save time and money by using the leftovers in soups and sandwiches or for future dinners. Thanksgiving leftovers is not about how great the meal is, but being thankful to have loved ones that shared in your budget-friendly Thanksgiving meal.

A delicious Thanksgiving dinner shouldn’t cost a fortune to host, and should be enjoyed by everyone involved. We all know the decisions you make today, may affect your ability to get credit in the future.  Use these tips so that you can continue to share delicious Thanksgiving meals without breaking your budget or negatively impacting your credit score. Thanksgiving dinner is about coming together with the people we love to give thanks and enjoy a delicious meal.  These tips will help you provide more for less.

If you have a tip for hosting Thanksgiving on a budget, please leave the tip in the comment section below. Happy Holidays!

 

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