My favorite day of the year is coming up: THANKSGIVING! A day full of football, family, amazing food, and great memories. A day of thankfulness for what we have. The all-American holiday.
With such a big holiday comes big expenses. Travel costs are the big expense for some families, but for others it’s the big dinner. Thanksgiving dinners can cost a pretty penny but they don’t have to. I’ve had the blessing of watching the frugal ways of my mom and the things she did to save money during Thanksgiving.
I wanted to pass on some of these tips so you can benefit from them.
Yes, don’t cook if you’re the host. Sounds odd, I know. But if you’re hosting the event, see if everyone wants to bring their own dish. This was a great money saving as well as time saving strategy for my Mom during Thanksgiving dinners. It’s just flat out ridiculous to ask one person cook the entire meal if you ask me. Instead of coming off as lazy, turn it into a fun event and make sure to mention that you’re excited to taste dishes from other family members.
All you need do is email out the list of dishes that are needed and you can manage responses and who is bringing what. It can be a fun, family bonding experience.
Cheap Wine Rules
Don’t go out and buy the most expensive wine this Thanksgiving. Unless your family is some sort of connoisseur group, ditch the expensive stuff and grab some bottles at the end of the aisles. It’s going to be mixed with so many flavors and foods it won’t really matter what the wine taste like as long as it’s drinkable. If you really want to go cheap, go with some off-brand boxed wine for $15 or $20. Surprisingly, many box wines are pretty good.
Store Purchased Decorations Are Overrated
Stores make such a big push to get your business for ornaments and decorations for a single day. Avoid the temptation this Thanksgiving. In fact, why don’t you use a combination of decorations you’ve used in the past? Or better yet, grab some flowers and greens from your back yard. These are easy solutions for Thanksgiving decorations. There’s no reason to spend a hundred dollars decorating your home with a bunch of trinkets.
Cheap Entertainment Is Key
Avoid the “big box” entertainment like movie theaters and football games. I know these are fun events, but is it really worth the money? Why not stay in and play some games? Using existing, free entertainment is something I grew up doing and plan to do the same with my family. Stay inside this Thanksgiving and avoid the crowds and your wallet will smile while building those bonds with family.
Don’t Have A Dinner
This option is pretty bold but can be a change from previous years. Why not do something that will shock your family? You could skip the dinner altogether and go serve downtown and volunteer for the day. Do you know how many homeless people there are these days? I’ll be honest, I haven’t done this yet, but I’m planning to. Another option would be to get the whole family to join you. It could be a fun bonding time while serving your local community. The sky’s the limit.
See, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be expensive. All you need to do is think outside of the box a little bit and you can save big this year. And above all, remember, it’s a time to spend with family. Who knows, you may find that these frugal ideas are actually more fun than what you’ve done in the past. Don’t wait to find out, act on these tips.
READERS: Do you have any other tips that you’ve incorporated into your family gatherings over Thanksgiving? Share your thoughts below!