Thanksgiving on a Budget
Sometimes it’s hard to have a big dinner for Thanksgiving on a budget. I remember my first Thanksgiving with my husband, well, he was in Afghanistan. Our 2nd Thanksgiving, my husband was just out of the Marine Corps and was having a really hard time finding a good job. We were flat broke, so some lovely ladies I worked with all chipped in and got us a gift card to purchase our Thanksgiving dinner. The next year, we were still pretty broke. However, with a little digging I was able to find a few ways for us to have a good Thanksgiving meal on our super small budget. This year, it’s not as big of a deal, but I still want to save on our dinner, so I’m using the same tactics I’ve used in the past to get us a nice dinner for Thanksgiving, and I wanted to share them with you guys!
-Shop sales. Many grocery stores offer special sales such as a turkey for $.50 a pound when you spend $40. This is an example, but I know many stores offered similar deals like this last year. Pair this with coupons for the rest of your Thanksgiving items that are on sale (to meet the purchase requirement) and BAM! There’s your dinner and you just saved almost half on your turkey.
-Get just a breast. Our first year having Thanksgiving together, it was just the two of us, so we didn’t feel like we had to have a big huge turkey. There are also just turkey breasts for sale for Thanksgiving, too. Watch for them to go on sale, and save even more on your main dish.
Get your Sunday paper and look for coupons for anything you might need for your dinner. There are often times tons of Thanksgiving coupons that come out closer to the holiday. You can find coupons on stuffing, cranberry sauce, condensed milk, bisquick, gravy, and more. Every coupon helps since it takes a little off your total. Pair these coupons with deals at your local grocery stores, especially those that double coupons, for big savings. To get a quick rundown on couponing, go here.
Have a Potluck-
Gather together your family and friends and make the dinner a potluck! This means big savings for everyone, and you can each bring just a dish or two and have quite the feast. Plus, what better way to spend Thanksgiving than with family and friends!
Saving on Décor-
You can find some really cute décor for low prices at Walmart, then look for coupons for other stores, such as Target, Michaels, or another local craft store in your area. They often offer 50% off coupons each week. Take these and get some Thanksgiving staples. Some cheap ideas include vinyl table cloths- you can find some CUTE designs and they are much cheaper than the fabric/cloth versions. You can find fall decorations such as garland for super cheap at the dollar store, too. Then, go outside and bring in some things you can decorate with, such as pine cones, etc… Find some candles you have on hand or buy some cheap tea lights, and before you know it you have a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Just don’t set the candles too close to the pinecones.
Finally, this year, to make the impact a little less on our budget, I’m adding $20 to our weekly grocery budget and picking up a few items each week that we will need for Thanksgiving dinner. This way, the cost doesn’t hit us all at once and I can take my time purchasing everything. Start now looking for deals, and you should have no problem saving on your Thanksgiving dinner!
My Thanksgiving menu usually includes turkey, mashed potatoes, dumplings (made with bisquick), candied yams, gravy, of course, and green beans and maybe another vegetable. We even usually have a store bought pie (there are always coupons for frozen pies!) for dessert. I don’t think I ever spend more than $50-$75 for the meal.
Have any tips for Thanksgiving savings? Leave them in the comments!