It's expensive to host Thanksgiving Dinner. Whether you're entertaining four or 24, the cost of preparing the highly anticipated annual turkey dinner can add up. As you start planning for the big day, here are some ideas to help you cut costs while still presenting a gorgeous and delicious feast.
Have a Potluck
If you are hosting, dressing and cooking the turkey, and making stuffing and gravy, you're doing the hard part, so why not delegate the rest out? Your family and friends will jump at the opportunity to contribute-and the chance to show off their cooking skills without carrying the bigger burden of hosting. (Don't forget to have some extra serving dishes and utensils handy!)
Cook Half a Bird
How many people are coming over? Do your leftovers often get tossed after a few days? If it's just another couple or two and don't regularly polish off the leftovers, you should consider buying turkey parts rather than a whole bird. You'll save money and cooking time! No, it's not the same. But, if you cook it well and surround it with delicious sides dishes, no one will even remember there wasn't a whole bird on the table at the beginning of the meal.
Decorate With Nature
Even a few decorations can add up-especially if they include store-bought flowers. But you can get just as beautiful a table without the expense if you create a centerpiece from fallen leaves garnished with seasonal fruits like pomegranate, plums, grapes, or anything else you have in your fridge, and whole walnuts, each of which can be eaten later! And if you've got them, throw in some pine cones from the yard for extra oomph.
Delegate the Drinks
If you prefer to do all the cooking, ask your guests to bring the beverages. With pre-dinner cocktails, wine for dinner, and post-meal cordials, the cost of drinks alone can add an additional two hundred dollars to your hosting bill. By simply asking your guests to bring some wine or small bottle of liquor, you'll drastically minimize your overall bill. And your guests will be delighted to chip in.
Cook From Scratch
Instead of buying a premade pumpkin pie, cook one from scratch. It's not as hard as it sounds, we promise. Most cans of pumpkin pie filling have a recipe on the can that is super easy. You probably have most of the ingredients already and the cost of the ones you don't will definitely be less than the cost of an already-made pie. Plus, you'll guests will be very impressed!
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Skip the Meal and Volunteer Instead
Instead of prepping, cooking, and serving Thanksgiving dinner, how about volunteering at a local soup kitchen instead? It's a great way for your friends and family to help the less fortunate on this annual day of giving. The money you'll end up saving is just the cherry on top.