re you on a Thanksgiving budget or want to be in one? Learn the ways to slash your grocery bill, save money for the holidays, and still have the best Thanksgiving plans that work well for you.
Thanksgiving Day is getting closer.
So are expenses that come along with that holiday.
More and more people are going to buy things left and right. In short, people are going to spend more money than they want to possibly.
I understand what you feel. This season is expensive. But there are solutions to that.
Here some interesting facts from the Statistic Brain Research Institute about Thanksgiving spending:
- Total number of Turkeys that are consumed on Thanksgiving Day – 51,650,000
- Total U.S. spending on Thanksgiving dinner food – $2,983,000,000
- Average household spending on Thanksgiving dinner – $59.18
- Average household spending on Thanksgiving weekend – $342
- Number of families that will travel for Thanksgiving – 39,000,000
- Number of places in the U.S. named Plymouth – 37
- The average cost per pound of Turkey – $1.20
Does this mean that you’d be one of those people who will spend a lot of money during this great holiday? No, not at all.
Believe it or not:
There are ways you can save money on a Thanksgiving budget. If you are ready, read on!
7 Easy Ways To Get Your Thanksgiving Budget Friendly
While the average Thanksgiving dinner was less in 2017 than in 2018, not a lot of people get to spend little on that day.
Before you even open up your wallet or swipe your credit cards, take note of the following tips on sticking on a Thanksgiving budget.
You’ll thank yourself for following these tips:
1. Make a plan and stick with it
Before you do anything, make sure you sit down and make a plan. List down all the menus, decorations, etc. you need to buy.
Writing down what you need to buy can really help you see how much you would be spending on Thanksgiving.
You can use these grocery list apps to list down and/or trim down your grocery essentials for this coming holiday.
2. Cost out the items on your list
Typically, I would say that you need to have a budget in place because that’s where everything usually starts.
But this is a different case as some items you need for Thanksgiving may only be available in that season, and the cost may be high or low, depending on how valuable they are.
Try to cost out what the total bill would be for the products you want to buy. From there, figure out if you’re comfortable with the cost. If you are, then, use that amount as your budget (with a little buffer for unexpected expenses).
If it’s too high, then, start cutting down or find alternative ways to make your plan to work. Here are some ideas:
- Substitute products. If may consider substituting branded products with store brands.
- Use money-saving apps. Using apps like Ibotta can help you save money on your groceries. The more savings you have, the easier it is for you to meet your Thanksgiving budget.
- Use online savings discounts. Using sites like Swagbucks and MyPoints can help you make money back. For example, Swagbucks sometimes offer a 25% discount for online shopping. MyPoints provides the same benefits as well.
3. Budget and save
When you’re comfortable with your plan and know what the costs are, it’s now time to put a budget for Thanksgiving and start finding ways to save money.
Ask yourself where you’re going to get the money from. Is it from your paycheck? Or from your side hustles? Or something else.
There are ways to help you save money. Here are some of them:
- Make a direct deposit. Start saving directly from your paycheck and put that in a separate account you won’t touch and one that would earn you more interest. One excellent option is to save that money through CIT Bank, which offers over 2% APY (in interest) on your money versus the traditional 0.06% banks pay.
- Save by automation. If you want to save even cents of your money, you can do that automatically. Apps like Qapital will roundup help you set your savings goal, and will do its work to achieve your goal without a hassle.
- Save money by making money. Some activities can net you some free cash without putting too much effort. Taking paid online surveys from Survey Junkie and Survey Club (one even made $4,000 in a month), selling products online, among others can help you make money without you leaving your home.
4. Don’t be scared to do an early shopping
When it comes to shopping, it’s never a bad idea to shop early. This is where you’ll get most of the savings.
When I say early, I meant non-perishable items. Click here to learn how to save money on groceries.Start picking up shelf-stable ingredients that are on sale when you see them. For example, pick up some canned pumpkin purees when you see them on sale for 50%.
Remember, when Thanksgiving is around the corner, you won’t see a lot of Thanksgiving-related sales because retailers know that you need to buy the products regardless of how much they cost.
You can use these best shopping apps to help you find the best deals in your area.
5. Go through your pantry first
Before heading out and making a purchase or two, look in your pantry and see if you ingredients that are already on your list. Cross them out if they are there.
Do this to ensure you’re not making any redundant purchases.
Doing this will save you both time, effort, and money.
6. Buy pre-made products when they make sense
Sure, making everything from scratch from home can help you save money.
Or does it all the time? Not really.
Sometimes, you can buy pre-made products way cheaper than when you make them. For example, you can buy a dozen rolls from Golden Corral for around $9. Try to make them from scratch, and you’ll spend money, time, and a lot of effort.
I mean, in this example, do you want to spend the whole day baking when you can buy them outside (not to mention there are coupon apps to help you save money on some pre-made products).
Whether you want to have a Thanksgiving dinner on a budget or just want to save money (and sometimes, sanity), buying pre-made items isn’t always a bad thing.
7. Don’t go for the fancy ingredients on large settings
You don’t have to impress your friends, family, and everyone else you invited with expensive meals.
At the end of the day, they want to celebrate Thanksgiving with you and your family. That’s all that matters.
You can cook simple meals and still have the best time.
If you want to make meals with special ingredients like cream sauces, caviar, etc., reserve those in a small setting like your immediate family. Doing this in a large setting means spending a lot of money.
13 Easy Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Budget Friendly
Whether you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on a budget or looking for ways to cut down your holiday bill, some of these ideas can help you get there.
8. Be part of a community-sponsored Thanksgiving party
Many times, your community will host a Thanksgiving party on Thanksgiving day. This means people will bring food to the party.
If you want to spend as little as possible on Thanksgiving day, be part of this community party. You can bring a dish or two, which may cost a few dollars at the most.
Not only will you spend less money but you will also be mingling with other people.
For example, our church sponsors Thanksgiving dinner every year for free. Because it’s free, we get to attend, have fun with our fellow parishioners, and have a blast Thanksgiving celebration.
Once we go home, we’d have a few meals prepared, which mostly cost, at most, $20.00.
9. Make it a potluck
For the most part, dinner is the most expensive part of Thanksgiving or your Thanksgiving budget.
To make the cost lower means, you need to be clever or smart in finding ways to make it happen.
If you are inviting guests, make your Thanksgiving dinner party is a pot luck one. It may sound like any other party because it is. Just because it’s Thanksgiving Day doesn’t mean you need to make all of the meals.People are very welcoming when it comes to gatherings. They come to the party not because there are foods but because of the event, the friends, the gathering, etc. They’ll be more than willing and happy to bring a dish or two.
For meals, you have to create, make sure you use Ibotta, which can save you a ton of money on groceries. We’ve saved and made over $300 just this year alone with Ibotta.
There’s a $10 bonus when you sign up, but it won’t be here for long. Click here to start saving with Ibotta and get your $10 bonus.
10. Stay away from Black Friday (for the most part)
Oh yes, Black Friday!
It’s the time of the year when people spend more than what they have.
Why not? It’s the time when a lot of things are on deep discount; however, if you are on a Thanksgiving budget, you will likely spend more money if you give in to the Black Friday craziness.
If you need to buy things, then, limit yourself to the ones you need. If you are buying online, use Ebates to get cashback and Paribus so you can get a portion of your money when the prices of the things you buy online drop.
My wife and I almost always get 5-10% back even after making the purchases with Paribus and around 8% additional discount with EarningStation.
Just on BlackFriday alone, we usually save around $250.00 in between these apps, which is on top of the savings we get from buying discounted products on BlackFriday.
We’re talking of 13-18% in savings here.
It is so easy to spend a whole lot of money when everything is on sale. Retailers are so great at telling you that you need to buy these or those when in reality those are wants and not needs.
11. Bring your booz
Wines, beers, and other alcoholic beverages have become staples at any party. Ask your friends and family members to bring the drinks they want.
I have always done that, and it works all the time.
I don’t drink so I don’t know what wines or beers taste like. I don’t know what the best beverages to buy. So, I leave the guessing game to those who are going to drink.
If you were to buy all the drinks, you’d probably be consuming all your $50 Thanksgiving budget in drinks alone.
12. Tone down on the decorations
Thanksgiving decorations can seriously dent your Thanksgiving budget. Worse, it can eat up your entire budget. Yikes.
Stay away from reading magazines or looking at pictures of the beautiful, well-decorated table, living room, etc. for Thanksgiving.
Sure, they are beautiful, but when you are looking at the price tag, you’d be surprised as to how much it will cost you to mirror what you are looking at.
If you want to stay within your budget, it is best to tone down on decorations. You could spend a small fraction of your Thanksgiving budget on decorations and buy everything you can buy with that budget.
If you are ok with doing that, then, do it. You can also buy decorations after Thanksgiving Day as these will be marked down drastically and use them for next year’s Thanksgiving.
13. Don’t forget what the season is about
While it is easy to get sucked into the Thanksgiving Day craze, always remember what this day is all about. It’s not about how much money you could and should spend. It’s not how pretty your decorations are. It’s not how festive your party is.
It’s about giving thanks to a year full of blessings, challenges, happiness, and everything in between.
You can have a zero Thanksgiving budget or $10,000, but at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks.
Thanksgiving On A Budget: Conclusion
Always remember than Thanksgiving shouldn’t always be denting your budget.
You can stick with a $50 or $100 or something else Thanksgiving budget and still have the best Thanksgiving Day ever.
This day should always be about giving thanks not spending a lot of money.
What are you thankful for? Are you going to have a Thanksgiving budget?