How to spend less this Thanksgiving

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Rachael Smith

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and is one of our most loved holidays. It’s also one of the most time and money consuming. For Americans in this day in age, a lot of us can’t afford to go all out anymore like Norman Rockwell in the 1950s, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be special. Here are some tips to use if you are cooking, traveling or just participating in Thanksgiving.

Instead of pre-ordering a bakery made turkey, try doing it yourself. It’s so much cheaper and would be a great way to show off your cooking skills. If the turkey’s too big of a step, try pies! Homemade pies are so much yummier than store bought and its fun to pick from all the different kinds. Buy in bulk if you belong to Sam’s Club or Costco.

This is beneficial if you are providing for lots of family and friends, however Thanksgiving can be simple too. According to US News, money states that Americans waste 25 percent of their Thanksgiving food, so it’s possible to keep Thanksgiving traditional but also switching it up at the same time. Prepare less food or try new foods. Buying beans, rice or vegetables are so much cheaper than other gourmet foods and so much healthier.

I know it’s becoming more popular while the economy’s in crisis, but couponing is so easy and that’s why everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. Clipping coupons from the paper is the same thing as free money. A lot of coupon companies provide specific coupons around the holidays to what most people like to buy, so don’t worry about finding weird coupons for brands you’ve never heard of before.
If you are one of those people who likes to provide for everyone and to do all the work—move over. This year, ask guests to bring a dish. It’s only fair if you’re the one opening your home to everyone that they make a little side dish. A little bit of food from everyone goes a long way—and creates less stress for the host!

After the meal is finished, everyone’s full and its time for that classic Thanksgiving nap, quickly store food into the freezer for later. A lot of these dishes can be recreated for Christmas.

As far as traveling goes, compare flights on different websites to see who has the best deals and fly out on an ‘inconvenient day’ which might be on Thanksgiving Day or on a Saturday or Sunday.
How many frequent flyer miles do you have saved up? Cash them in and use those for this trip, it can save a ton of cash.

These are ideas to keep your Thanksgiving happy, hearty and fun, but have you ever thought about those who are really digging into their pockets to enjoy any kind of meal on Thanksgiving? This day can easily become hectic and centered around food, but most importantly, we should give thanks.

You may not believe it, but the best way to relieve stress and feel humble on that day is to give to those in need. Stop by for just an hour at your local food bank to spend the day with the community too.