Check out these practical budget tips to help you cut back on your expenses this coming Thanksgiving.
Budget Tips to Save Money This Thanksgiving
Budget Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner Parties
1. Set a Budget
The first step in being able to successfully budget is to squeeze in a bit of research first. Before doing the groceries, know the cost of the menu you’re planning to serve. Plan the number of people you’re celebrating with so you can adjust the servings. Planning ahead helps you take advantage of sales. Some stores give Thanksgiving deals and discounts a few weeks before Thanksgiving, so you can opt to buy some items early instead of rushing later, too.
2. Do A Potluck Dinner
If you want to cut back on your food budget, it’s best to make this year’s Thanksgiving celebration a potluck dinner party.
Thanksgiving is all about celebrating the blessings we’ve received in the past year. And what better way to show gratitude than by sharing your gifts with the people you care about the most.
If you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner party, you’re most likely in charge of providing main course meals such as the turkey. But that doesn’t mean your guests don’t have to bring some food as well.
It would make the party a whole lot better if everyone were to bring something to the event. For example, the host can be in charge of the main course and the guests will provide the side dishes, appetizers, wine, and desserts.
3. Spice Up Your Menu
Don’t be afraid to try something new this Thanksgiving. You don’t have to serve an all-meat menu. Try researching new dishes online! Remember that veggies are super healthy, filling, and very affordable. Green beans or Brussels Sprouts are a classic Thanksgiving dish, but don’t be afraid to serve some international foods too. Thanksgiving is all about the coming together of family and community in celebration, wherever they may be from.
4. Make a Shopping List
After you’ve decided on your dinner party’s menu, it’s time to list down the ingredients you need. Budget tips are all about planning your expenses ahead of time. That’s why it’s very important to make an actual note of every ingredient you need to source.
Also, make sure to set a budget limit after you list down the ingredients. This’ll help you gauge how much money you need to shell out this Thanksgiving. Of course, keep in mind that this amount is still variable. Just stick to the budget as much as possible.
5. Do an Inventory Check
Before you do your grocery shopping, take a look around your kitchen to see if you have any ingredients you can use. Keep your eye out for small items such as spices. There’s a good chance you still have some of these left from the previous parties you held earlier this year.
6. Start Shopping Ahead of Time
Grocery prices tend to spike just before holidays like Thanksgiving. One of the best personal budgeting tips we can give is for you to start shopping as early as possible. Once you’re done making the shopping list, you can start buying some ingredients from the grocery store. The quicker you finish your list, the sooner you’ll be able to do the groceries.
7. Comparison Shopping
Another advantage of shopping ahead of time is you get to compare the prices between different grocery stores. You can try big-box stores like Walmart and Target for cheaper prices. They usually offer great discounts on their fresh food selection.
8. Plan Your Flights Early
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your out-of-town Thanksgiving getaway. If you can plan your trip ahead of time, you won’t have to delay purchasing your plane tickets. Buying tickets months before a flight is one of the best budgeting tips for families.
9. Set a Travel Budget
We all know how easy it is to spend too much when we’re on a trip. Whether it’s on snacks, dinner, souvenirs, or tourist attractions, there are a lot of temptations when we’re traveling. While it’s important to have fun, you should also be mindful of your financial health. That’s why you need to set a travel budget beforehand. This’ll help you prevent overspending and buying unnecessary things.
10. Buy Generic Brands
You can save by getting the generic version of your brand-name ingredients. There are a lot of generic options in different groceries that offer the same quality of products. A quick visit to the dollar store can make all the difference. Examples are food seasonings and some spices, tissue papers, food labels, aluminum foils, and takeaway bags.
11. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk can help you score discounts and definitely stick to your Thanksgiving budget. You can visit bulk-goods outlet if you’re cooking for a large group, say a whole bunch of relatives will be coming over. You can combine coupons for bigger savings, too. Different stores and websites offer different types of Thanksgiving deals. If ever you get excess ingredients from buying in bulk, you can recycle these ingredients for your next cookouts after Thanksgiving.
12. Skip the Pricey Décor
Pricey décors can definitely be eye-pleasing and set everyone in a good mood. But, these can also put you way beyond your Thanksgiving budget.
If you are trying to be practical, you can definitely choose to get crafty by making your own décor, this year. There are a lot of online tutorials that can help you create your DIY home décors that can be good all year round, too. Another way is to reuse last year’s decor or ask your friends/family members to borrow theirs. Or, if you are looking for not so expensive options, you can visit the dollar store for affordable autumn decorations as well. All you may need is a few versatile home décor pieces you can work around every year, and you will be good.
13. Visit the Dollar Store
You don’t have to spend big bucks just to get appealing Thanksgiving decorations. You can opt to make them yourself using supplies from your local dollar store. These stores have plenty of materials for arts and crafts. Plus, they’re really cheap! With just $10, you can already have a whole bag of decoration supplies.
14. Turn Leftovers into New Meals
After Thanksgiving, you may have a lot of leftover food in the fridge. A creative way of still being able to enjoy all the food preparations you did for Thanksgiving is to turn these into new recipes. As an example, you can combine leftover turkey and sides to make weekday lunches. Or, you can add some eggs and feed your guests again with the same re-styled ingredients in the morning. In this way, you can avoid having food wastes and even get to practice new recipes. This is also a good way to make the most out of your planned budget even beyond the holidays.
15. Get the Most Out of Your Turkey
After Thanksgiving, your yummy turkey can still be included in other food preparations. Turkey is a very versatile ingredient that can be inserted in quick recipes in different ways. As an example, you can freeze turkey stock as a make-ahead base for your dishes in the coming weeks. Don’t forget that the turkey bones are useful for cooking up a nutritious broth. There are a lot of turkey recipes available online that you can try. You can make salads, sandwiches, and even chicken dips. By turning turkey into packed meals the following days, you can really maximize your Thanksgiving budget.
16. Plan for Next Year
It’s never too early to plan for the next Thanksgiving. You can make a list of do’s and don’ts, to save time and money for next year. Maybe you and your friends and family can already agree on a particular theme, or already make travel arrangements. You can already set a Thanksgiving cookout with the same bunch of attendees this year.
Planning ahead helps you score different holiday vacation deals early, as well. Don’t forget to take note of your mistakes this year to help you plan next year’s festivities.
Check out this video for some practical ways to save money this Thanksgiving:
These simple budgeting tips are just some of the ways you can save money this coming holiday season. Keep in mind that it’s not about what food you eat or where you go, it’s about who you spend Thanksgiving with. Remember that it’s not impossible to have fun with your loved ones while sticking to a budget plan.
Do you find these budget tips useful? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
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