While Thanksgiving may be intended as a day to give thanks for everything life has to offer, many Americans view it as a day to overcook, overeat, and overspend. Below are a few tips you can use to practice moderate spending and eating, so that you don’t break your budget—or your belt–in order to enjoy the celebration.
Here are five tips to follow so your Thanksgiving is fun, but not expensive:
1. Don’t go in cold turkey – plan a realistic budget well in advance, one that considers what you can really afford to spend on the holiday (in cash), not what you’d “like” to spend.
2. Think like a Pilgrim – the fairytale version of early Thanksgivings included a focus on saying thank you, and not trying to impress those in attendance, so be modest and frugal.
3. Remember the trimmings – not the stuffing, the decorations! Don’t buy them, make them! Look online and you’ll find easy-to-make, inexpensive ways to decorate your home and table.
4. Ask everyone to give thanks – ask family and friends to bring a prepared dish, dessert or the wine, and build those items into your budgeting and planning.
5. Involve the natives – invite your children, or some who may be attending, to prepare decorations, easy-to-make snacks, or lead after-dinner games rather than spend on entertainment.