Planning a Thanksgiving dinner is hard enough, and budgeting for one can be even tougher. Shopping, cooking, and decorating each have their own challenges, so let’s look at some things to keep in mind when planning for Thanksgiving.
Start with the Menu
If you are looking to save as much money as possible when planning your Thanksgiving meal, you will want to start shopping ahead of time as items go on sale and stores begin running promotions. Go ahead and plan out the menu so you can be ready to snag items as they come up.
You are celebrating with friends and family, not hosting a cooking show. Don’t go overboard. Stick to tried and true staples that are easy to prepare and loved by all. Be on the lookout for coupons and sales in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
Stick with What You Need
Before leaving home, check your kitchen for any items on your list that you already have. Spices and canned goods, napkins, and many other kitchen goods last nearly forever, so take an inventory and use what you already have whenever possible.
When you start to shop for the items needed to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to stick to the list. Every store you walk into will be trying to play on your holiday spirit and get you to spend money unnecessarily. There will be music and decorations and discounts on things you don’t need. Stick to the list, and most importantly, the budget!
Leftover Funds, Not Food
When thinking about how much to buy, try to aim for no leftovers. You don’t really want to eat turkey sandwiches for a week. Save dollars by only buying as much as you will need for the dinner. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out exactly what serving size you will need for each person, stick to small, simple dishes and be sure there is enough total food for everyone.
Your guests will want to contribute to the dinner. If you are planning to have alcohol, have the guests bring the beer and wine. These items are less likely to be on sale and can put you over-budget quickly.
And if you want to go very low-cost, have each guest bring a dish and have a potluck instead of doing everything yourself. It is just as traditional and easier on everyone.
Let Nature Do the Decorating
There will be plenty of Thanksgiving and fall decorations about. There is no need to spend money on aesthetics. The trees are changing colors and provide a natural backdrop for your Thanksgiving celebration. Use what decorations you already own (if you own any) and forget the rest.
Thanksgiving can be stressful if you don’t plan ahead, but with a little forward thinking and some strict budgeting, you can get through without breaking the bank. If you are struggling with credit debts and considering non-profit debt consolidation, give CreditGUARD a call today. Our certified credit counselors are ready to speak with you and help you get your budget back on track.