Thanksgiving can be really expensive. If you are in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner you probably will spend hundreds of dollars on turkey, side dishes, centerpieces, family entertainment and more. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some great money saving tips to help you stick to your budget this Thanksgiving.
Make Dinner- Don’t Buy
It can be tempting to order a premade Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant or caterer. While these dinners are convenient, they are also very expensive. The cost of buying and cooking a turkey and side dishes is much less than the cost of ordering these.
If you want to save money this Thanksgiving, offer to host the meal at your house rather than spending the money to take everyone out to dinner. When family comes over, make the food yourself rather than ordering in.
Ask for Help
Many people hosting a Thanksgiving dinner think that they have to do everything alone. This is not true and is a great way to spend a fortune feeding the entire family dinner. Instead ask for help. Ask each family that is coming to bring a couple of dishes. If you create a sign up sheet, or assign specific dishes like green beans, mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie you will be sure to get everything you need without having to buy and make everything yourself. This can save a lot of money while still ensuring a delicious family dinner for everyone.
While no one wants to be alone for Thanksgiving, sometimes travel is just not financially possible. If you only have a few days off for the holiday, don’t fly out of town unless you have the money available. Flights are more expensive around the holidays.
If you do have to stay in town, connect with your family on this special day in other ways. Consider having a live video chat using Skype or another free service. You can also share in the Thanksgiving festivities by making a traditional family recipe. Invite some other friends over and have a special day from home.
Focus on Affordable Entertainment
Many families love to go out to a big football game or spend Thanksgiving afternoon at the movie theater. While these fun family traditions are important, they should not be at the expense of your budget. If you can’t afford the usual family traditions this year, start some new ones. Consider playing board games with your family or host an all family football game in your backyard. You can also rent movies and watch at home instead of going out. Fun family traditions are based on creating memories, not overspending.
Set Up a Gift Exchange
When the whole family is together at Thanksgiving, it is the perfect time to start saving money for Christmas. Rather than buying everyone gifts this year, consider setting up a family gift exchange instead. You could have everyone draw one name for gift giving or could assign each family another family for purchasing. This can really save money and allow you to focus on getting one special gift rather than several less expensive ones. It is a great way to help your family start saving money as well.
If a gift exchange isn’t something you are interested in, consider buying your gifts in advance and taking them to Thanksgiving dinner so that you don’t have to spend money on postage closer to Christmas.
Hopefully these money saving tips will help you have a delightful and affordable Thanksgiving this year. If you keep your budget in mind over the holidays you will be better able to enjoy spending time with your family. After all, who wants to worry about money the entire holiday season? Choose a couple of these tips and start saving.
How do you save money on Thanksgiving?