Between your turkey, ingredients for the holiday meal and décor to set the ambiance, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is not cheap.
If you’re looking for ways to cut back without compromising quality, read on for easy ways to save on Thanksgiving costs this year:
1.) Verify your guests’ attendance
Get an accurate head count for dinner. Verify attendees — and then begin to plan your menu.
2.) Find out what your guests like
Find out your guests’ individual tastes and diets: ask about particular foods your guests like to eat and those they won’t touch. If something on your menu isn’t very popular with your guests, skip it – even if you think it’s obligatory for a Thanksgiving table.
3.) Make it a potluck
Slash your spending and your stress in one step by answering an enthusiastic “yes!” to every guest who offers to bring something. Don’t just say “anything’s fine,” though, or you might have seven desserts. Instead, create a Google Sheet with your planned menu and let your guests input what they’d like to contribute.
4.) Serve on smaller plates
Most people will load up their plates to capacity, regardless of the plate’s size. Curb food waste by using smaller dinnerware. They can always take seconds later.
5.) DIY décor
With a little imagination, you can set a beautiful holiday tablescape without blowing your budget. Shop dollar stores for discounted décor that still packs a punch, like colored vases, fake flower arrangements and other centerpieces. Look for easy, inexpensive DIY ideas online.
6.) Shop the sales
Supermarkets usually run specials on Thanksgiving staples as early as Halloween. Plan so you can take advantage. Keep your menu flexible until you see the circulars, then base your dishes on ingredients and produce on sale. Also, shop around for your turkey! Grocery stores tend to have the best deals on the birds, sometimes even free when you spend a specific amount on other groceries.
7.) Cook from scratch
Most everything is less expensive – and tastes better – when it’s homemade. Start your cooking well enough in advance so you don’t find yourself relying on too many convenience foods.
You don’t need to spend a fortune in order to create the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. All it takes is a little planning!
What are your best Thanksgiving dinner hacks? Share them with us via Facebook or Twitter!