The following post is from Melissa Batai
The upcoming holidays can be a wonderful time to get together with family and friends as well as slow down and relax, but if you don’t plan for the financial expense, the holidays can also throw your budget off course.
While most people focus on budgeting and saving money to pay for Christmas, don’t forget Thanksgiving, which can also be pricey, especially if you’re hosting. According to Fortune, the average American spends $165.14 on Thanksgiving expenses with only $67.59 of that being for travel.
You can help alleviate some of the expense of hosting Thanksgiving by acting now to put the perfect feast on the table.
Buy a Few Ingredients Each Week
The week or two before Thanksgiving generally have the best sales for traditional Thanksgiving items like canned pumpkin, potatoes, stuffing, and turkey, so if you’re looking to save money, you will probably want to wait to buy those items so you can get them at the lowest price. However, there are plenty of other items you can buy a little each week such as flour, sugar, shortening, frozen vegetables, etc. Even better if you buy them as they go on sale over the next few weeks.
Make Some Thanksgiving Dishes Now and Freeze Them
Not every item on your Thanksgiving Day meal menu will freeze well, but some do. My aunt makes rolls every Thanksgiving, but she makes the dough ahead of time, shapes it into balls and freezes them in tin pans. Then, the day before Thanksgiving, she takes them out to thaw, and right before the Thanksgiving meal is served she bakes them. They taste as if she made them from start to finish that day, but she’s saved herself time. If you’re looking for more ideas, Mom Advice has an entire post of recipes she’s tried that freeze beautifully for a Thanksgiving meal.
Start Putting Money Aside Now
Many people put aside a certain amount of money each week, all year long to save for Christmas. Luckily, hosting Thanksgiving dinner isn’t nearly as expensive. You could set aside $10 or $20 now, and have plenty to host the party come Thanksgiving Day. Then you’ll be able to enjoy hosting without worrying about the expense.
Let Others Bring a Dish
Finally, don’t feel that you have to make every.single.dish if you’re hosting Thanksgiving. It isn’t fair to yourself financially or time-wise, and it isn’t really fair to your guests. Why? Because all of us have certain foods that we associate with Thanksgiving whether it be our mom’s Pecan Pie or our great aunt’s Jello Salad. For some, Thanksgiving just isn’t the same if their favorite dish isn’t on the table. Let your guests bring at least one dish they really enjoy at Thanksgiving. You’ll appreciate trying something new, and your finances will be better if you don’t supply everything.
Utilize just a few of these suggestions now, and you’ll have a relaxing, less financially taxing Thanksgiving celebration.
My Question for You
Have you hosted a Thanksgiving dinner before? If so, what else would you recommend to lessen the financial blow and enjoy your time as host?