Hosting a big event like Thanksgiving dinner can quickly empty your wallet. Luckily, there are ways that you can work around your budget and create a get-together that everyone will enjoy. In the end, it is all about being together and having a wonderful time. It shouldn’t be about the amount of money you spend, so I’m here to share with you how to Host a Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget.
First and foremost, set a budget. You don’t know how much money you have to buy dinner ingredients, until you determine how much you can afford to spend.
Second, create a guest list, and limit the invites. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for leaving people off the list. It will be much easier on your wallet if you only invite your closest friends and/or family members. Less people eating calls for a smaller turkey, as well as smaller side dishes and fewer desserts.
Next, set an RSVP date for guests and make sure they respond. If you know how many guest will attend, you can plan more accurately on how much food you will need. Your grocery bill will likely be less if you know the head count for the dinner.
Make a plan for the meal. Serve what you know your guests will eat and not leave you with a ton of leftovers. Easy access to Pinterest and other cooking websites, leave you wanting to prepare the most intricate of meals. You will be slaving away the entire week before your Thanksgiving dinner trying to recreate every dish and yummy treat that appeals to you. In reality, this will likely cause you to go over your intended budget for the day. Instead, limit the menu to the turkey, 2-3 sides, and 2 desserts.
Still want to save a little more after reviewing your meal plan? Ask guests to bring a side dish or dessert. Good guests do not like to show up empty handed. Say yes, when they ask if they can bring something. Not only does it reduce the amount of money you have to spend, it adds a nice variety to the menu. Keep track of what guests are bringing so you can balance the entire meal. You don’t want everyone to bring a dessert, and end up with zero side dishes.
Scour the sale ads for the best prices on Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. Some stores will offer a free turkey the week of the holiday, assuming you purchase a certain dollar amount in their store. If your budget allows, grab this deal to save money on your meal. Throw in a few extra necessities for the rest of the week’s meals if necessary to meet the required spending amount.
Finally, use regular dinnerware to save on buying disposable paper products. This may mean a bigger chore at the end of the evening, but your bank account will thank you for not wasting money on items that do not improve your actual meal. Besides, your plates, silverware, and glasses will make a prettier table setting than paper items.
What’s you favorite tip to save money while hosting Thanksgiving?