How to Host Thanksgiving without Going Over Budget


Thanksgiving is meant to be a time spent with family and friends enjoying all your favorite foods, drinks, and desserts! Sounds great doesn’t it?

Well, your budget may not agree. While hosting your family gathering can be a special time, it can also be expensive. Between the cost of food, alcohol, decorations, and desserts, your wallet may not end up being too “thankful.” Luckily, there are ways to make your Thanksgiving dinner memorable and budget-friendly! Here are some ways to host Thanksgiving without going over budget.

Ask for Help

There is nothing wrong with asking family and friends for help when planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Going about dinner all alone will not only leave you stressed out, but can mean more time spent prepping and more expenses. You may even want to consider hosting a potluck. Ask family or friends to bring an appetizer, side dish, dessert, or even their favorite bottle of wine or beer. A potluck will bring new tastes to the table, lessen your expenses, and keep you within your budget!

Limit the Number of Dishes… or Don’t

The number of dishes you serve can depend on the amount of guests you will be feeding. By limiting the number of dishes, your grocery bill will be much lower. Consider ditching sides that haven’t wowed guests in the past. Serving fewer dishes in bigger quantities also means you can buy ingredients in bulk. This way you still have enough to feed all your guests and will still stay within budget.

On the flip side, increasing the number of side dishes can mean purchasing less turkey and meat. Consider purchasing a bunch of sides that won’t break your bank. A few canned or frozen sides can go a long way in feeding your guests. Fill up your guests with sides and cut your meat budget!

Smart Shopping

Thanksgiving can be a great time to take advantage of holiday deals. You may be able to find coupons and sales that are not normally available during the year. But before you rush out to use those coupons, you may want to take inventory of what you already have. You may be surprised what’s been hiding in that cluttered pantry or packed freezer (hopefully still good!). Consider making a list of what you need and then search for deals to save you money.

When buying alcohol such as wine, consider asking your store for their deals on buying cases. Purchasing a case can save you money in the long run and can come in handy for a future party or holiday gift.

Rethink your Decorations

Your home décor can provide a nice fall setting and atmosphere for your Thanksgiving dinner. Of course you want your table to look the part but at what price? Holiday decorations can be expensive and can take away from other areas of your Thanksgiving budget (such as food). Try to get crafty with your decorations. Take things such as fall leaves from the yard, hay, and gourds and use them as holiday props. You may also want to visit the dollar store where you can find decorations that will certainly keep you within budget.

If you don’t have enough place settings for your guests, consider buying generic white dinner plates and silverware. These not only look great but can be used for your next holiday party you plan to host!

Hosting a holiday party doesn’t need to be a budget killer. It’s important to start planning and working on your Thanksgiving budget now to save time and money. Bonus: all that money you save can be used towards your holiday shopping! Finally, enjoy your dinner, football, and time with your family! Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? How do you plan on staying within your budget? Feel free to leave your comments below.

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