Thanksgiving brings joy to many with some delicious food and family time together. Some plan to travel to meet their friends and family members on this special occasion.
However, if you don’t plan well, the joyful event can turn out to be a financial burden. Rising food costs due to inflation mean your dinner will be expensive this year.
Then, think of other purchases like decoration and cutlery items for celebrations.
But you shouldn’t wake up regretting the blissful event. We’ve compiled a list of our top 12 tips for you to make this Thanksgiving less stressful and more enjoyable.
1. Plan Ahead
Early planning is important to keep things organized and avoid last-minute hiccups. Particularly, if you’re hosting the dinner for the first time.
Make a list of guests and think about who will be there. Then, think of relevant items and essentials you’ll need to host them all.
For instance, will you need to arrange extra seating? are there enough cutlery and cooking utensils?
2. Make a Budget – and Stick to it
An important part of your event planning is to create a budget. You’ll know ahead of time what you have got in hand and what you can afford to spend.
Keep a cushion for inflation effects as the prices will increase as compared to the last year. If you find yourself out of budget, it’s fine to take a slash.
3. Create a Simple Menu
It’s tempting to create a lavish and unusual menu for your guests. However, keeping it simple and budget-friendly does the job perfectly fine too.
Keep an eye on your budget and think of dishes you can easily prepare. Instead of expanding the menu, create combined dishes that everyone would love.
Avoid spending a ton of money on food by planning a simpler menu. You could also ask your guests to bring s dish each – sides, desserts and starters can be sorted by others, while you take care of the main.
4. Asks Your Guests to Contribute
If you feel a simple menu wouldn’t do the job, ask your guests to contribute a bit. You’ll be inviting your close ones and there is no harm in asking them to join in with a starter, a dessert, or a side. You can ask them to bring a bottle of wine, fizzy drink or juice, too.
This way, you can focus more on the main menu items like preparing a few pounds of extra turkey meat and still keeping the table full with a variety of dishes.
5. Compare Prices
You can do a few rounds of the local markets to match the prices of the items you need. Else, download a mobile app and compare prices online.
Somehow, there will always be a small price difference for certain items as different types of stores offer different pricing.
6. Look for Grocery Discounts
Local grocery stores and supermarket brands like Walmart or Target offer grocery discounts and coupons every holiday season.
Make full use of these discounts and try to buy items with a long shelf life first. Buying in bulk can save you more too.
7. Shop Early
Thanksgiving may be a short event but it takes a toll on your pocket. Along with other holiday shopping and Christmas expenses, the season can prove to be an expensive one. Stores often increase their prices of the most wanted items for Thanksgiving meals, too, close to the holiday.
Therefore, spread the costs and start shopping early for this Thanksgiving dinner as well as for Christmas.
8. Be a Smart Shopper
Calculate the servings per person and do not go overboard with your shopping. Do not purchase items that expire quickly and you cannot reuse them.
Look to include ingredients that you’d keep for your regular use later as well. Then, buy a good mix of canned food and generic items as each one comes with unique benefits.
You can always opt-out of hosting the Thanksgiving dinner and accept an invitation elsewhere.
9. Serve Seasonal
Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables means serving fresh food on the table. Then, seasonal produce is cheaper than non-seasonal.
Think of winter produce items like apples, oranges, pears, chard, and winter squash.
10. Make Use of Leftovers
You can store unused turkey meat or veggies for a while. 1Read a bit about food safety to make use of the leftovers from dinner instead of throwing them away. This way the cost of Thanksgiving is not just for Thanksgiving – it will pay for a number of lunches or dinners in the days to come.
You can always contribute to a charity with unused items that you can’t store for longer.
11. Go Easy on Decoration
While Thanksgiving is a special time to celebrate, it’s fine to go easy on house decoration. You can control expenses with a simple serving and generic decorative items as well.
Use readily available items like garden flowers, paper decorations, simple handwriting displays, etc.
12. Accept Invitations
Hosting a family event is a matter of pride and joy for everyone. However, if you’ve been doing it regularly, accept invitations from others this time.
Alternatively, you can volunteer time to a local charity or a shelter kitchen by serving the needy.