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When it comes to the holidays, budgets are tough. Who am I kidding – budgets are tough all year long! But there’s something different about Thanksgiving – we enter the season of joyful giving. When our budgets are tight, it isn’t easy to give graciously.
What we fail to realize is that more money does not equal more fun (or more love).
But this year will be different. This year we can stick to our spending limitations and still have a great holiday with the family. And here’s how we’re going to do it.
Who says you have to do it all? Divvy up the main course, sides, appetizers, and desserts and have guests bring some of those items. This will not only lighten your financial burden, but it will also help you to stress less because you’ll have less cooking to do.
Stick to the list
This is one I struggle with all year long! Only buying the items on your grocery list is a huge money-saving strategy. So often I get sucked in with the “convenience” items or the newest “must have” at the grocery store. Resist that temptation!
Nix the alcohol
We’re not big on alcohol at my house so this one is easy for us. I don’t ever recall a Thanksgiving dinner with alcohol – ever! But if you’re used to having a little bubbly or wine with your meal, consider cutting it out. Or you can ask a guest to bring a bottle of wine with them as their contribution toward the big meal.
The turkey is the biggest expense of all – save money by using store coupons and buying a store-brand bird. Sure, you could go big and get a heritage turkey – but those average $140 for a 12 to 14 pound bird. Stick with the supermarket turkey, which is a fine alternative, and use a coupon to save even more.
Above all – keep it simple
We all want our guests to have a great Thanksgiving. Between gourmet meal options, fancy decorations, and fine dinnerware – your expenses can get out of hand pretty quickly.
The important thing is to surround yourself with loved ones – family and friends won’t remember gourmet ingredients, but they will remember the laughter and the fun they had gathered around your table.
Join me in sitting back, taking a deep breath, and vowing to make this Thanksgiving the most memorable yet, without breaking the bank.
We can do it.