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How to Plan for Thanksgiving on a Tight Budget

The Thanksgiving table is the centerpiece of the holiday meal. Food is a symbol of abundance, and Thanksgiving is a celebration of that abundance. But because food is such a central part of the holiday, it can quickly become the most expensive part.

If money is tight, or you’re hosting for the first time, there are ways to bring more to the table without spending more money.

As I noted in a previous post, traditional Thanksgiving fare includes turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and rolls. Some turkey dinners also include cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for dessert.

As most people know, Thanksgiving is a day of feasting, not a day of frugal living. But, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to feast this Thanksgiving. Here are some ideas to help you have a frugal Thanksgiving:

1. Plan

Before you go to the store, make a meal plan. This way, you won’t buy things that are not on your list.

2. Cook ahead

Cook as much food as you can before Thanksgiving Day. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll also have leftovers for Thanksgiving lunch and/or dinner.

3. Buy in season

Whenever possible, buy food that is in season. This helps cut down on the cost of food. Fruit, vegetables, and beef are at their peak this time of year.

4. Shop around

Before you make your purchase, shop around. There are many stores that offer steep discounts. These deals can be found online, in newspapers, and on flyers.

5. Shop online

These days, many stores offer products online. Shopping online allows you to compare prices and get great deals.

6. Go generic

Whenever possible, buy generic. Generic products are usually less expensive.

7. Buy in bulk

Buy bulk items when they are on sale.

Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.