Thanksgiving is almost here! Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated meals of the entire year, no pressure, but that doesn’t mean you have to transform into Martha Stewart and turn your Thanksgiving meal into something out of a magazine.
Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated meals of the entire year. That makes it easier to get carried away and blow your budget on wanting to duplicate pages out of the Martha Stewart Magazine or an extravagant spread from Pinterest.
If you are feeling nervous about overspending on this massive meal, or you are hosting a lot of guests and you’re not sure how you will afford to feed everyone, here are a few tips to keep your Thanksgiving spending under control so you can keep the joy (and less stress) in the holiday.
It’s easy to get carried away and blow your budget on that much-anticipated Thanksgiving feast. I’ve done it many times!
If you are feeling nervous about overspending on this massive meal, or you are hosting a lot of guests and you’re not sure how you will afford to feed everyone, here are a few tips to keep your Thanksgiving spending under control so you can keep the joy in the holiday.
Take a Headcount
One key to not overspending is not over buying.
Knowing how much you need to cook is key to purchasing the proper amount so you don’t blow your spending.
Did you know the serving size per person is only 1 pound of turkey, and then, only 1 oz of dry stuffing.
That means you don’t need a 20 lb turkey if you are only serving 8 people. You can save the money and put it towards Christmas!
I know, I know, but leftovers are the best part! However, we joke that we all hate eating Turkey for so long after Thanksgiving is over… and gauging more accurately will also help you save money.
Lucky for you, I love math! Because I’ve created an easy Thanksgiving Meal Planning Calculator spreadsheet to download that will figure this out FOR YOU! Simply enter in how many guests you are having and it will automatically calculate how much you need to buy for 20 Thanksgiving Staples! Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey and yes, even pies!
Go Shopping NOW
Good Thanksgiving sales have already started! You don’t have to wait until the week OF Thanksgiving to shop for it all.
Each year, as soon as the holiday food sales start, I create a Thanksgiving Price Comparison shopping list to help you compare the Best Deals on the items you’re going to use for your Thanksgiving meal.
Stock Up Now, For Next Month
Stock up on the things you will be able to use for cooking Christmas too such as baking supplies and canned goods that you use to make favorite foods for both holidays.
We cook pies for Thanksgiving, but then we make Eclairs for Christmas. Both use flour and sugar… so I stock up when they are cheap (before Thanksgiving) in order to spend less throughout the entire holiday season.
Make As Much As You Can Ahead Of Time
Thanksgiving is one of the few meals where a majority of the food you’re eating can be made ahead of time.
This will not only help relieve your oven from it’s Thanksgiving duties but keep you from going insane!
Your gravy, cranberry sauce, and even the pumpkin pie can be made ahead of time.
When creating your ultimate Thanksgiving menu, make a list of all the dishes you are going to create and see if you can’t do some of them before the big turkey day.
Cook from Scratch
When it comes to mashed potatoes, five pounds of whole Russets will make more, cost less, and taste better than a box of dehydrated spud flakes.
And with the right recipes, it shouldn’t take much additional time to prepare.
Did you know you can prep veggies up to 2 days in advance? You can wash and trim all your veggies and store them wrapped in damp paper towels in the fridge. Less prep time on the big day!
This year, instead of following fancy recipes, scale down by making the best versions of basic classics.
Choose well-reviewed dishes with short ingredient lists. Here are three super-easy side dish recipes for Sweet Potato Souffle, Green Bean Casserole & Mashed Potatoes.
Thanksgiving is supposed to be a big meal, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. You could keep your menu simple by only making a few things total. This might include the turkey, two sides, and one dessert. Then, while having dinner you could focus on a fun game of thankfulness to make the meal memorable without focusing so much on the food.
I know how tempting it is to make complicated meals with expensive ingredients to give your guests the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. But doing this adds money, time, and stress to your Thanksgiving.
Skip Some Dishes
Too often, we make Thanksgiving dishes simply because they’re tradition – not because we actually like them.
Take a look at what people actually eat when you host the meal. For instance, if you make sweet potato casserole each year (because you think you should) but you always end up throwing most of it out, don’t make it this year. Save the energy and the expense!
Remember, Thanksgiving is all about celebrating with friends and family and being grateful for all the blessings in your life. It shouldn’t be about cooking “the perfect meal” or having “the perfect house” when everyone comes over.
Doing that does nothing but run you ragged! Relax and have fun with Thanksgiving this year.
And remember, the more you plan in advance, the more you’re going to end up saving.
Have another idea for a way to save on that expensive Thanksgiving Feast?
Please comment below and help out a fellow saver!