Thanksgiving on Time and a Budget!

November is the month for Thanksgiving! We spend the month talking and preparing for the one day a year where food is the center of attention while getting to visit with family and friends. If you are like many Americans, you spend 2-3 days preparing for thanksgiving dinner while spending another 6-7 hours cooking on Thanksgiving Day. This year will be different for many people who may be needing to work with a tight budget. Follow these helpful tips for a budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner!

Plan a guest list—Having a headcount for your thanksgiving dinner will give you an idea of how much food to make. This year’s Thanksgiving dinner may have fewer people compared to last year. You may not need a 20-pound Turkey this year, maybe a 10 or 12-pound Turkey will be enough. On average plan for 2 pounds of turkey per adult. Most people have leftovers, which can be made into Turkey pies and frozen for a quick delicious dinner later in the winter.

Potluck—To help you stay on budget for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, enlist the help of your family and friends. Hosting a potluck Thanksgiving dinner not only will save you money, but everyone can bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish or dessert, giving everyone a variety to choose from.

Get organized—make sure you have all the utensils and food gadgets readily accessible. Will you need to purchase more serving spoons, silverware, or plates? Do you have enough trivets to put all your hot pans of food on? Also, take an inventory of your pantry. What can you make with what you have?

Preparing—Throughout November, most of the thanksgiving favorites will go on sale. Follow the sale flyers to purchase your Thanksgiving ingredients ahead of time. As Thanksgiving day draws closer, review your menu to be sure you have everything you need. To save time on the day of Thanksgiving, is there something you make a day or two before the big day? Desserts like cookies can be prepared weeks ahead of time and kept frozen until needed.

While Thanksgiving is time-consuming and can be costly, it’s a time to reflect and be thankful. Enjoy your family and friends and make amazing memories first and foremost. In the meantime, if you need assistance crafting a budget that works for you and your family, please contact, Carrielyn Reynolds at She can help you plan your Thanksgiving dinner budget but more importantly one that can be used monthly throughout the year.