How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

Image credit: Nicki Sebastian

Image credit: Nicki Sebastian

Breaking news: hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on a budget is totally possible. If you’ve been passed the baton and are expected to serve a palate-pleasing, memorable feast NEXT week - I’m here to help! With these uncomplicated tips you’ll rock Thanksgiving and be dubbed the hostess with the mostess. And if the moment arises that you want to bang your ahead against the wall remember: if all else fails just put turkey in the oven, a la Mary Risley. 

6 ways to host Thanksgiving on a budget:

1. ADMIT YOU NEED HELP

 Depending on how much help you need this can go a few different ways. If you feel it is appropriate then make dinner potluck style. That way everyone can be involved and you don’t have to be the holiday hero. If you do go the potluck route I would take the time to assign people specific dishes so that way all the essentials are covered.  If you are hosting Thanksgiving just for your immediate family find a friend in the same position and split your groceries! You will save money (woohoo) and won’t have to scratch your head two weeks after Thanksgiving wondering what to do with all the leftovers.

2. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SHOPPING LIST

You made a list prior to the grocery store for a reason, right? Before you step into the store look yourself in the mirror and repeat after me, “I will only buy what is on the list. No other item will hit the cart.” I would suggest writing out a menu, all ingredients and a budget so you avoid surprise costs and walking out of the store wondering if you have everything.

"Repeat after me: I will only buy what is on the list."

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3. BE BETTY CROCKER 

Disclaimer: I can hardly make a PB&J so I get it if you want to bypass this tip ;) However, if cooking is your thing and you kill it in the kitchen try making things from scratch this year. Mash potatoes? Stuffing? That’s all you girl. It’s the little things that will shave numbers off the final bill.

4. MAKE IT BYOB or BYOW 

For some of you the thought of being at a holiday gathering without a drop of alcohol sounds like hell on earth but if you are in fact hosting on a budget alcohol can push that budget right over the edge. I suggest that if you can do without it then that’s the way to go. If that is not even an option then kindly ask those attending dinner to bring a bottle of wine or three.

5. DON'T OVERSERVE 

Prioritize side dishes and appetizers. Do you really need to serve five apps and 10 side dishes? That answer would be no, you really don’t. Keep those dishes that you can’t do without on the menu and leave the others for another occasion.

6. GET CRAFTY 

Although Thanksgiving dinner is not about the decorations it adds to the ambiance to have them. I would suggest not strolling through the aisles of Target because we all know that’s a dark hole – ha! What do you already have in your home that can work as holiday décor? If you like DIY projects this would be your time to shine. Remember that those sitting around the table are what matter most and not the festive napkins.

Happy Thanksgiving! Where will you be spending the holiday this year?

Chelsea Briche runs the popular blog The Millennial Miss. A platform for young women surviving their twenties with grace and a lot of humility. The platform is Chelsea's "pledge to you, the ones who haven’t quite figured it all out yet. That we, together, will immerse ourselves in every single thing possible; explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground."

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