How to Save Money on Your Vacation Meal

Thanksgiving is a day to express our gratitude and acknowledge our blessings. It is also a day to binge on while indulging in foods that we are not used to eating.

If you’re having Thanksgiving this year, you might be a little stressed out about the prospect. Not only can Thanksgiving dinner prep can be a lot of work, it can also cost a lot of money. If you’re on a budget, you may need to approach this year’s Thanksgiving gathering more strategically. Here are some steps you can take to make Thanksgiving a success without putting too much financial strain on yourself.

1. Keep your Thanksgiving guest list to a minimum

As nice as it may be to gift your home to extended family and friends, if money is tight this year, you may need to reduce your Thanksgiving guest list. Since there is still a pandemic, this is hardly a socially unacceptable thing to do. Rather than cramming 20 people into your home, consider limiting your invitation to your closest family members.

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2. Avoid baked goods

Planning on going to the local bakery for some fresh Thanksgiving cakes and pies? You might want to rethink this. You can probably make your own desserts at home for a fraction of the cost. Even if you are not an expert in baking, there are many simple recipes that you can access online. Plus, by the time you get to dessert, your guests might be too full to really want gourmet cake plates anyway.

3. Let your guests bring things

How many times have your Thanksgiving guests offered to bring something for your meal, only to have you turn them down? If you really have to stay on a budget this year, graciously accept these offers to provide a side dish, salad, or dessert. You can even ask some guests to bring drinks to limit your grocery bill. Plus, if you don’t tell guests what to bring, you could inadvertently end up with six pumpkin pies, five of which will never get out of your fridge.

4. Buy your ingredients in advance

This year, the cost of food and other essentials is on the rise, in part due to supply chain issues. In November more than ever, it’s a good idea to purchase non-perishable ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal in advance. This will give you the opportunity to shop around and potentially pay less for some of the things you need. If you wait too long and the supermarkets increase their prices for the holidays, you will be forced to pay more.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to celebrate, but the last thing you want is for it to be a source of credit card debt for you. If rethinking your meal helps you avoid this fate, so much the better.

Remember that at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what we have and spending time with our loved ones.

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