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6 Ways to Host a Cheaper Thanksgiving

October 10, 2018 | By Louis Tully

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner while still being able to afford the upcoming Christmas season is no easy task. While a car title loan may provide some temporary short-term relief, it’s best to have a plan to keep your costs low to avoid a financial emergency. To help accomplish this, try these 6 ways to hosting a cheaper Thanksgiving. Some pre-meditated planning and thoughtful spending can go a long way to keeping your finances on the up and up no matter what time of year it is.

Throw a Potluck

If it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner this year, but your money situation is a little on the tight side, don’t fret. There’s no harm in asking for help. Potlucks allow you to invite your guests to help with the party without actually asking for any kind of financial favors. Plus, letting your guests bring over their favorite dishes will not only reduce the cost of playing host, but will also let everybody add something special to the table, literally. Be sure to let everyone on your invite list know that this is a potluck and encourage them to bring whatever food or drinks they want. You could even make up a little checklist of ideas for things to bring to make sure all your bases are covered.

Stick to the List

Make a list of all the things you’ll need to put together a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and be sure to stick to it. Grocery stores will be full of extra treats and goodies that may feel like a good idea to grab at the time but could also wrackup an unnecessarily-high food bill. That said, it’s best to just stick to the basics (turkey, stuffing, cranberries sauce, biscuits, etc.) Many grocery stores will be putting these key items on sale this time of year, so saving money should be fairly easy if you can keep your list down to a minimum.

Avoid Pre-Made Foods

Try to shun any pre-made items from your cart. This includes:

  • Pre-curated Thanksgiving sets or packs (spices)
  • Powered mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing in a box
  • Frozen pies
  • Etc.

Making your side dishes and desserts from scratch is more work, but the money you’ll save is well-worth the effort. Plus, nothing beats homemade foods. Anything that came ready-to-go from a box is not going to be the best quality. Your Thanksgiving guests deserve a higher mealtime standard. After all, making the pie from scratch is half the fun!

Skip the Alcohol

Alcohol is expensive. A single bottle of wine is around $20. For this reason, it’s best to either skip the alcohol completely or at least ask your guests to bring their own bottle. These days, there’s no shame in asking guests to bring their own drinks.

Simplify Your Dishes

Typically, food is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Thanksgiving, but nobody needs 20 side dishes crowding the dinner table either. Stick to the basics (or your absolute favorites) and your Thanksgiving will be traditional, bountiful and affordable.

Use Decorations You Already Own

Lastly, the decorations. Dressing up your home for the holidays is always a fun way to get into the spirit of the season, but you need not spend more than what’s needed here. If you have leftover decorations stowed away from years past, then go crazy. But if decorating your home (even when you’re the one hosting the party) means spending more money, it’s best to just skip it altogether. After all, Thanksgiving isn’t known for its flare like Halloween or Christmas. Nobody expects a cornucopia centerpiece on the table.

Follow these tips and see how a little bit can go a really long way; even over the holidays.