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MAIN Arrow to Home Life - HolidaysHolidays Arrow to Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Arrow to Recipes Thanksgiving on a BudgetThanksgiving turkey

For cash-strapped families who want to keep costs down on this year's Thanksgiving celebration, there is a cornucopia of ways to plan and organize a fun-filled feast without breaking the bank.

Just follow these money-saving and time-saving ideas for Thanksgiving on a budget:


  • "Hire" help. Have a potluck dinner by assigning who will be cooking the turkey, appetizers, desserts and Thanksgiving side dishes. You'll find that friends and family members are usually more than happy to pitch in and participate. For really large gatherings, don't forget to assign who is bringing the extra cutlery, tablecloths and napkins, extra chairs or tables.

  • Plan your menu, and then make a list of everything you need. As always, don't do your Thanksgiving shopping on an empty stomach to help avoid those impulse purchases. Plan your shopping as if it were a military operation, and have your items listed by section to speed up shopping. To head-off any Thanksgiving drama ("I forgot the rosemary and sage!") carefully check each item off the list as it gets added to the cart.

  • Look for special sales in supermarket circulars online for sales on aluminum foil and roasting pans, as well as plastic bags to store the extra turkey and other leftovers. Also check out bulk purchases at wholesale warehouses like Costco for deals on party platters, paper towels, or even folding chairs and tables if you're expecting a big crowd.

  • For smaller families, spend money wisely by buying a turkey breast to save on costs and to avoid waste. Many grocers and supermarkets now stock turkey parts throughout the year, including legs and thighs for dark meat lovers.

  • Save time - keep it simple. By all means opt for fresh when it comes to making the mashed potatoes or turnips, but other side dishes like green beans, yams, corn or peas can be just as easily prepared from canned or frozen.

  • For decorations, enlist the kids the week before by assigning fun and easy Thanksgiving craft projects such as table centerpieces, door hangings, or even coloring pages that will add folksiness and charm to your family celebration. And the kids will love it.


also see -> Budget meals | Make ahead meals

More budget Thanksgiving ideas around the Web:

Enjoying an inexpensive Thanksgiving feast

Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Decorations




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