Thanksgiving dinner is only one meal, but it can quickly eat a huge hole in your holiday budget. Unless, of course, you figure out some ways to cut down on costs for the huge family event. The trick is to enlist the help of your guests and find ways to save small amounts that can add up to huge savings after dinner is over. Here are a few tricks to save on Thanksgiving dinner:
Make it a Group Effort
Are you having family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner? If so, make your meal more of a potluck than a one-family-makes-everything deal. It’s easy to spend hundreds on Thanksgiving dinner when you’re the only one chipping in. If a bunch of people are coming over and each family brings one covered dish, that’s less food you have to make and less money you have to spend. And, one dish isn’t a lot to ask for, so you won’t have to feel like you’re being greedy.
Skip the Drinks
Okay, you don’t need to skip the alcohol altogether. But, just as you can ask your guests to bring a dish, you can also make your event a BYOB-style dinner. If they want to drink, they can – but it won’t be at your expense. Wine and beer can quickly eat up your Thanksgiving budget, especially when you buy it for a large group. Tell your guests to bring what they want, and you’ll get one huge expense out of the way.
Make it Homegrown
It may be too late to do this for the upcoming holiday. But, it’s a good thing to consider for next year’s meal! Plant your own garden full of produce that you can harvest in the fall, like pumpkins, squash, turnips, broccoli, and collard greens. Center your meal on the things you’ll have growing in your garden so that you’ll spend less on store-bought ingredients.
Think of the After-Meal Meals
If one of your biggest cash wasters is having too many leftovers that never get eaten, then start planning out your leftovers before the big event rolls around. There are tons of soups, sandwiches and casseroles you can make with leftover turkey. And, you can even add your leftover veggies to your recipe. Having everything pre-planned can keep you from scrambling for a plan after Thanksgiving. And, it will make sure every penny you spent gets used instead of thrown away.