Thanksgiving dinner is said to be one of the most expensive meals of the year! It may not affect you that much if you aren’t the one hosting. However, there are so many different components that go into making the perfect Thanksgiving feast that the costs add up quickly. Therefore, if you are the chosen one this year to host your Thanksgiving, the tips below will assist in keeping your feast on a budget.



Thanksgiving is the ultimate potluck meal! As a host, you cook up a turkey and maybe some mashed potatoes and have everyone else who is attending bring a side or a dessert. Typically, Thanksgiving meals include a large crowd, so that means if each person brings at least one item there should be more than enough food to go around. You can try making a list and sending it out and have people sign up for what they would like to bring, or you can create a group message or email and have everyone collaborate about it.

If someone asks what they can bring, you can suggest a green salad or side dish, rolls or bread with butter, or extra desserts.

By doing this, you don’t have as much stress or don’t have to spend as much money as if you were going to provide all of the food for Thanksgiving.

When purchasing the ingredients for the food, don’t think you have to get the most expensive ones, because whether it is $25 or $5, it is going to cook up and be delicious regardless. Don’t be afraid to buy the store brand for your ingredients on your store checklist.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Turkey & Gravy

When buying your turkey, don’t think you need to get the biggest turkey around. For about 10 people a 12 to 14-pound turkey should do the job. More than likely you will not eat every single scrap of the turkey because you will have many other food items available to eat that will make you stuffed unless you seriously just love turkey.

Find out more on How to Cook a Turkey and How to Make Turkey Gravy here.


Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Basic Cranberry sauce is inexpensive to make, and the plus side about it is that you can make it well ahead of the meal because it will stay good and fresh for a longer period of time than the other foods.

Here is a recipe for Very Basic Cranberry Sauce.


Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie is a Thanksgiving classic and a must-have at your meal. One thing that should be noted is it is typically less expensive to buy pie crust pre-made than to make it yourself at home. Keep your eye out for pie dough that is on sale so you can snatch it up before it is all gone.

Here is a recipe for Classic Pumpkin Pie.


When thinking about all the kitchen tools you will need to cook your Thanksgiving meal, you realize you don’t necessarily have all of them. You may not have a roasting pan because you never need one, and that is okay. Don’t be afraid to ask your neighbors, friends, or family to borrow some of their pans and pots to cook your meal.


Thanksgiving Dinner Table

When setting your table, don’t think you need to go out and buy new kitchenware just to make your table look nice. Try to find the beauty in mismatching. It is okay if you don’t have enough of the same plate or bowl for all of your guests. If you don’t have enough utensils for all your gifts, you can try asking people to borrow some of their utensils.

If that doesn’t work you can try the thrift store. It is not ideal but you can get some great finds in there for an unbeatable price.

For some greenery, you can get some pretty and inexpensive flowers from the grocery store, or you can go outside and walk around and pick stuff up that you think would go nicely together. For example, you can get some leaves, branches, and foliage for your table, and that is all for free! You can even pick up some pine cones and paint them to give them an extra sparkle! Don’t feel confined and be creative, it is your Thanksgiving meal.

Tablecloths are expensive, so instead of getting one, you can try a runner or some brown paper. Another option is laying down a colorful scarf across the center of the table to add some color to it. Happy Thanksgiving!

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