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Celebrating Thanksgiving on a Budget

How to Celebrate Thanksgiving Without Breaking the Bank

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with your family and friends, enjoy a meal, and celebrate. But it can also be very expensive. The good news? It doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner without going over budget.

Have Guests Bring Some Dishes

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t have to do everything yourself! Not only can this quickly get costly, but it’s also very time-consuming and difficult. Instead, arrange to have each family member or friend who’s coming bring something with them. A potluck Thanksgiving can be wonderful! Just remember to work it out with everyone in advance so they don’t all bring the same thing. Not only will this make it easier on you to host the dinner, but it will also bring everyone together to share in the day.

Restrict Travel

It’s very nice to get the whole family together to celebrate Thanksgiving, but if your family is spread out around the country (or around the world) this may not be possible every year. If you live very far away, you may want to consider travelling to see your family every other year rather than each year, for instance. This is easier on your wallet and also saves you some travel time.

The good news is that technology has made it much easier to celebrate together than ever before, no matter where you are. If some members of your family can’t afford to drive or fly to visit relatives this Thanksgiving, have them set up a video chat through Facetime or Skype. That way you’ll still be able to see each other and share the moment without the expense.

Rotate Hosting

One good way to save money on Thanksgiving is to make sure that the same person or family isn’t hosting the dinner each year. Rotate it through the family instead. Not only does this give each person a break for a few years, but it also gives people time to save up for their hosting responsibilities.

Plan in Advance

If you start planning and saving in advance, you’re more likely to be able to afford hosting your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Set your budget well in advance and come up with a plan to save enough money to afford the celebration. You might want to put some money aside each month for several months so that you have enough saved by the time the holiday rolls around. Set a goal and then create a plan to achieve it.

Once you have your budget, make a grocery list and stick to it. Don’t go shopping without your list and avoid impulse buy items. Grocery stores and other stores will always have food or décor that looks amazing in the store, but do you really need these things to have a great Thanksgiving? Stick to your budget and you’ll have a much happier holiday.

Don’t Go Overboard

Stick to the basics on Thanksgiving. You don’t need to have a gourmet six-course meal. Everyone will still be happy with a simple and straightforward dinner. Don’t worry about having the “perfect meal” or trying to keep up with what you see on TV and social media. As long as the food is tasty, your loved ones are around you, and the meal is prepared with love, you’re good.

The same goes for decorations. You don’t need to decorate your entire house with fancy centerpieces, special cups and plates, and festive serving bowls. Do what works for you and what fits into your budget. There’s no reason you can’t use the dishes you already have – even if everything doesn’t match.

Remember What Thanksgiving Is All About

The important part of Thanksgiving is sharing the moment with your loved ones and giving thanks. You don’t need to impress anyone, and you don’t need to put together the “perfect day” for social media. If you’re stressed out and financially struggling because you did too much on Thanksgiving, you won’t be able to enjoy the holiday. It’s easy to get wrapped up and lose sight of what Thanksgiving is all about, but try to stay focused.

You don’t even need to have a big dinner together if you don’t want to. Thanksgiving is about spending time with your loved ones and giving thanks for what you have. If you’d rather have a light lunch, play a game of touch football, or go for a hike together, consider doing this instead. You’ll still be able to spend quality time with one another and it won’t break the bank.