Our Top 7 Tips on Hosting Thanksgiving on a Tight Budget

Hosting a fabulous Thanksgiving celebration can be an expensive undertaking, especially when you are on a tight budget. Depending on how many guests you invite, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars on food, decorations, and alcohol. This year, plan out your celebration ahead of time and be resourceful in finding low-cost food and supplies. Here are some tips for pulling off a Thanksgiving celebration everyone will be talking about without breaking the bank in the process.

1. Shop at a Warehouse Store

Warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam's Club offer amazing deals on bulk holiday entertaining goods and ingredients. If you are tasked with feeding a crowd, shopping at warehouse stores can save you a lot of money. Look for super low prices on holiday hams, turkeys, rolls, pastries, snack foods, wine, beer, spirits, and more. Since warehouse stores offer their products in bulk, you are bound to have leftovers that you can eat now or freeze for later.

2. Delegate Some Dishes

Just because you are hosting the main event does not mean you need to be in charge of all of the entire menu. Make Thanksgiving a partial potluck and ask your guests bring their famous side dishes to share. Don't worry about offending anyone, people love to bask in the glory of others raving about their special dish. Hosting a potluck Thanksgiving celebration ensures that there will be a variety of delicious food to choose from and you will not be stuck buying all of the food.

3. Make Minimalist Food

Food does not need to be loaded with a long list of ingredients in order to be tantalizing. Think like a minimalist and make dishes that boast great flavors but are simple to make. Try to find recipes that call for ingredients you already have in your pantry.

4. Plan for the Future

Instead of stressing yourself out by shopping in busy grocery stores right before the holidays, plan your Thanksgiving menu out months in advance and take advantage of grocery store sales. You can stock up on pantry and freezer-friendly ingredients ahead of time and split your holiday budget up over several months. Canned food, boxed food, and freezer food can be stored for months and will still taste fresh when you prepare it for the holidays.

5. Decorate the Natural Way

To save money on decorating your home for your Thanksgiving celebration, use all of the bounty that nature has to offer this time of year. Decorating with nature allows you to tap into your creativity and explore the environment around you. Fill a glass jar with fallen leaves and interesting twigs, grow some ornamental corn that can be dried, or find some interesting pumpkin and gourd seeds you can later harvest and display.

6. Create Signature Cocktails

Instead of trying to stock your at-home bar with many different wine, beer, and liquor varieties, come up with a couple of signature cocktails to serve at your holiday celebration. Liquor does not need to be expensive in order to make a cocktail that soothes the soul. Find bargain liquor that tastes great and make your own mixers from scratch.

7. Use Coupon Shopping Apps

As long as you have a smartphone, you can access an assortment of money-saving grocery coupon apps that are easy to use and will save you money. No longer do you need to spend hours searching for and clipping for coupons that sometimes get forgotten at home. Check out apps like ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Rakuten. With these apps, you simply check out the offers before heading to the grocery store and then upload the receipts after you have shopped. You can accumulate points that can be redeemed for cash and gift cards.

Hosting a memorable Thanksgiving celebration can be done even if your budget is limited. Be a savvy shopper and don't fear asking your guests to come armed with their best dishes to share. With proper planning, you can decorate, bake, and cook some fabulous food without spending hundreds of dollars to make it happen.