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Thanksgiving Low-Cost Dinner Tips

Some years, a lavish Thanksgiving just isn’t in the cards. These affordable Thanksgiving recipes deliver big flavor at a low cost. Time to prepare for some serious cooking and serious food comas. While Thanksgiving is really about people coming together to give thanks and enjoy each other’s company, there are definitely some costs that you need to prepare for if you plan on having a traditional holiday.

Go For What’s in Season

Buy produce in season, and you will get much more for your money. Brussels sprouts are at their peak in late November; farmers’ markets should have them in huge quantities, still on their stalks.

Don’t Overspend on Decorations

Buying Thanksgiving-themed decorations can be costly.  Buy a few quality, versatile decorations that you can show off every year and if possible, use what nature offers (leaves, herbs, gourds, etc.)  And remember, a little goes a long way. Natural decorations such as small gourds, pinecones, and leaves can make a festive centerpiece. Check out dollar stores and thrift stores if you want to supplement this with inexpensive store-bought decorations.

Buy Early

The turkey will always be the single largest expense on your holiday shopping list.  Waiting until the last minute to purchase your turkey will increase the cost.  Try buying a frozen turkey earlier in the month when they are more affordable.  Also, take a thorough inventory of your pantry so you don’t buy unnecessary food items.  Most importantly, take advantage of the competition by researching the best deals from each store.  It’s the easiest way to get everything you need at the best price.

Don’t impress With Your Drinks

Don’t feel the need to buy an expensive bottle of wine or champagne to impress your guests. Just ask your local grocer or liquor store for a low-cost bottle for your Thanksgiving table. There are a lot of great wines for under $10.

For those that don’t drink – having an inexpensive bottle of apple cider will suffice or maybe even bottled water.

Cook From Scratch

Some convenience foods are often ridiculously cheap, loaded as they are with high-fructose corn syrup and chemicals, yet they rarely taste better than homemade. To cut costs and ensure the tastiest of feasts, make your own pie crust, cranberry sauce, and gravy rather than opening up a box or can.

Make It a Potluck

Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. People are happy to pitch in and bring a dish or two, and potlucks are always fun. If you’re happy to make all the food, suggest guests bring along an appetizer or drinks of their own that can be shared amongst other guests.

No Disposables 

Paper plates and plastic utensils may save some clean up time, but they are an unnecessary expense. Besides, the Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to break out the good china and fancy glassware and serving trays.

Hosting a Thanksgiving event can be stressful, but with these tips, you can enjoy the day with friends and family in an inexpensive, stress-free environment.