Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

Although “eat, drink and be merry” may be your mantra this upcoming Thanksgiving, doing so on a budget is probably a mandate of the feast.

Even if you are greatly concerned about this expense, now is not the time to try less expensive  or alternative fair. Thanksgiving is a national holiday that can be celebrated by all and a traditional meal is part of the game plan and the overall fun for the day.

With careful planning, preparation and shopping it is quite possible to have a spread fit for royalty, all on a paupers budget. With a budget of $80-$90, happy homemakers of all shapes and sizes can feed 8-10 people a traditional Thanksgiving meal complete with appetizer, fresh roasted turkey, tons of sides and of course delicious deserts.

Like with any other type of shopping, costs can be controlled by planning accordingly. That means making your guest list, planning a menu and then comparing prices getting the freshest and most delicious goodies for the big day. Some additional tips for keeping your Thanksgiving Budget on track are:

  • DIY-Although items like mashed potatoes, pre-washed and cut vegetables, pre-made pies and even buying an oven roasted gobbler directly from the store are great time savers, you will pay extra for the convenience. Commit to making everything from scratch and you will certainly be able to stay within your budget
  • Buy Seasonal Produce– As the seasons change, so does the selection of produce. Instead of fighting nature and insisting on a fresh berry pie or a fiddlehead side dish, buy produce that is both seasonal and local. Farmer’s markets are a great resource for finding both.
  • Choose a Supermarket Bird– A trip to your local market and buying a fresh turkey is all you need to buy the main guest of honor for your Thanksgiving celebration. By using the Butterball Portion Planner you can properly estimate what size turkey you need for your feast and avoid having any go to waste
  • Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie– Canned pumpkin is a great bargain and making a pie from scratch should only cost about $5.
  • Go Generic– Store brands are just as good (if not better) then their food designer label counterparts. When it comes to canned goods, stocks, fresh produce, milk, butter and bread (for stuffing) there is no need to pay extra for a name brand.