I so love this time of year! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, mainly because it involves food! I’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner a few times and loved it every single time; I love having family over, being able to serve them food that I’ve prepared… it’s just perfect.
If you’ve found yourself hosting Thanksgiving dinner but are on a budget, here are some tips to have a great dinner that won’t cost a ton of money!
Buy the turkey when it’s on sale
Starting in early November, some grocery stores will have turkeys at 50% off when you buy a specific amount of groceries. For example, my local Meijer has turkeys for $.52 a pound if I spend an extra $20.00 in groceries. 52 cents a pound is a great price, so if you’re planning to buy other Thanksgiving groceries, go for it!
This year, I’m going to try to purchase multiple turkeys to keep in the freezer and use throughout the year. Most stores will limit the turkeys to one per purchase, so you may need to make multiple trips.
Stock up early
Like I said above, Thanksgiving sales start at the beginning of November. Boxed stuffing, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables… Kroger usually has these items in their Mega Sales, so it’s a good idea to go ahead and incorporate some of it into your grocery budget a few weeks before Thanksgiving, so it doesn’t seem like a huge hit when you start to buy everything else for Thanksgiving dinner.
Make Thanksgiving dinner a potluck
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is seeing what other people can make. Most of the time in our family, when someone wants to host, they’ll usually serve the turkey and a side/bread, and everyone else will bring one dish to help out. This way, the host doesn’t have to worry about all the time/money it takes to prepare a whole dinner, as well as maintain an orderly house the same day!
Make homemade bread/mashed potatoes/stuffing/etc.
Now, this all depends on what you personally like to do/have time for. I LOVE making my own bread; you can spend $2.50 on a package of 12 dinner rolls at the store, or make about 5 times that many at home with the same amount of money. They’re delicious and don’t cost a lot of money, although it can be time-consuming.
The same goes for mashed potatoes; you can make a lot more homemade mashed potatoes with the same amount of money you’d spend on a box.
If you’re feeding a larger family, making items from scratch is MUCH more cost effective. If you’re only feeding a couple people, and maybe don’t want leftovers, buying the smaller boxes of food may be a better fit.
Like I said above, a lot of those boxed items go on sale before Thanksgiving, so you can get a box of stuffing and mashed potatoes for less than a dollar each! You do whichever one is the best fit for your family.
Don’t plan any meals after Thanksgiving- AKA leftovers
It’s very possible that you’ll have a TON of leftover food, and what better way than to eat leftovers for the rest of the week? It means you won’t have to spend extra money on more dinners; hurray for free meals! If you think you’ll get tired of leftovers quickly, here’s a list of creative ways to use them up!
Need help staying organized this Thanksgiving? Check out my new Thanksgiving Planner to keep on top of your to-do list!
Do you have anything to add to this list? Share in the comments!
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.