Thanksgiving, The Cheap Way


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Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

I believe that it is safe to assume that as a collective, Americans often visualize Thanksgiving as a day to devour an abundance of food in the most extravagant fashion —or the one odd day to show others your thanks, if you’re into that type of thing. With a table filled with a collection of favorable dishes that your entire family has patiently waited the whole year to eat, there is no doubt that the cost of food by the end of this holiday can be much more expensive than expected.

However, reckless spending does not necessarily have to be the way to have a successful Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, however you may celebrate it, can still be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved when you are on a much stricter budget. With the idea of minimalism in mind, Thanksgiving can be celebrated in all the same ways, but with much cheaper receipts and more savings in return.

Realistically, probably a quarter of the food cooked for Thanksgiving ends up being leftovers that everyone quickly gets tired of eating, which results in food wasted. To prevent food from going to waste, take the number of people coming to the Thanksgiving meal and only make enough for that serving size. Not only does this save the amount of time spent cooking, but it also saves quite a bit of money in the grand scheme of things. Discount grocery stores, like Aldi or Family Dollar, can be a great assistant in spending the least amount of money on Thanksgiving food while still making everyone happy. Discount grocery stores are good for supplying food for much cheaper prices, hence the name. The discounts provided in these stores make it possible for people specifically on a budget to purchase everything they want for half of the price that would be spent at a regular grocery store. Making guests bring in some of their own dishes can also be a simple way to save money during the Thanksgiving season.

Though a lot of families already do this, making Thanksgiving dinner almost like a potluck can not only be a money-saving tactic, but also a way of spicing up the holiday. With guests bringing in their own dishes, this allows a bit of leeway to focus your budget elsewhere, perhaps to Thanksgiving decorations. Thanksgiving, as big of a feast as it may be, does not always have to be celebrated by completely clearing the money out of your pockets. It can still be an enjoyable time to make memories surrounded by loved ones even when there is a budget in place.