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How to Create a Thanksgiving Meal on a Budget

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you might be wondering how to create a great meal for your family and friends without emptying your bank account to do it. Today I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to do just that!

Plan ahead. I know this part might be a little late for this year but planning ahead is a great start to any budget-friendly event. There are many times throughout the summer and fall months leading up to the big event where the things you’re going to need for it will be on sale. If you have a large enough freezer you could pick out a nice, big turkey well in advance and really save your pocketbook. Don’t forget about coupons either! There are many times where a coupon can get you a major discount on a turkey and other items! My family has one of the large chest freezers so we buy a big (usually 20lb+) turkey anytime they come on sale during the year. That way when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter roll around we already have the biggest expense taken care of! If you’re not completely set on making the dressing and cranberry sauce from scratch you could also buy those cans and boxes anytime they come on sale in the earlier months. The same can be said for things like fruit filling if it’s in a can or a box you can buy it ahead of time and store it until you’re ready!

Cut back on side dishes.

You might think that the only way to have a Thanksgiving meal is to make 10 different sides to go with that turkey you lovingly picked out at the grocery store. This is not the case! Narrow it down to the favorites! Mashed potatoes, candied yams, stuffing, green bean casserole and, cranberry sauce are more than enough for a fantastic meal!

Don’t be afraid of the store brand, it’s your friend, I promise.

A ton of people get absolutely caught up in strictly buying expensive name brand products. When it comes to making a meal the size of Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a lot of guests, this can mean a ton of extra money spent. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the store brand! When your shopping for things like baking ingredients, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, and even Jello they all have store brand cousins that are just as delicious as the name brand you’d spend twice as much buying.

Another great, budget-friendly option you can try is a potluck. This is an especially great option if you generally have lots of friends and relatives coming for the meal! This way your friends and family can bring their favorite recipes to show off and it takes a lot of the weight off your shoulders! You cook the turkey and get everyone else to bring one dish each to fill in the rest. Just don’t forget to coordinate! You wouldn’t want 5 people to all bring a pot of mashed potatoes after all! Make sure all your bases are covered, including dessert.

Don’t stress yourself out over the holidays! It takes all the fun out of spending time with your friends and family members if you’re too stressed out to enjoy them. Stick to your budget, plan ahead and don’t forget to relax!   

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