Thanksgiving is only three weeks away! Whether you travel or host at your home, this can be a stressful and expensive holiday.
These tips can help you have a successful Thanksgiving without breaking the bank.
1. Plan Flights Ahead of Time
Book early, because air fare goes up the closer you get to the holiday. Wednesday and Sunday are the busiest travel days around Thanksgiving, so try to get flights on different days. If you keep your schedule flexible that week, you can price out different options.
2. Save on Meat
Turkey is the tradition, but if you’re not a turkey fan, it doesn’t make much sense. I prefer duck myself, so I opted for that last Thanksgiving (and will never go back). Stick with just one meat option, as side dishes tend to fill everyone up anyway.
If you are going with turkey, frozen turkeys will be cheaper. Many grocery stores offer specials in November where you get a free frozen turkey after spending a certain amount of money.
3. Determine Popular Dishes
Does the sweet potato casserole end up in the trash? Think about previous Thanksgivings and what was a hit or miss. You can scale back on the less popular dishes, or replace them with something else.
4. Practice Smart Shopping Habits
You may want to consider buying in bulk around the holidays, especially if you’re expecting a lot of visitors. Between the holidays and the parties that go with them, you’ll need a lot of supplies.
While you’re shopping, look for generic brands of what you need. You’ll save a lot of money by avoiding name brands.
5. Make it a Potluck
I grew up with potluck Thanksgivings, so this one seems obvious to me. The way it worked with my family was the host provided the meat and guests brought side dishes and dessert. It helps spread the cost out and the food is great when everyone focuses on their specialty.
What do you do to save money on Thanksgiving expenses? Share your tips in the comments.