How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget

How to Make Thanksgiving Budget-Friendly

Have you ever wondered how you can possibly host a Thanksgiving dinner and still afford all your Christmas gifts? If you just answered yes, we’re here to help. It is definitely possible to host a generous, palate-pleasing Thanksgiving feast on a budget. Remember… The Pilgrims were on a budget — and they helped invent Thanksgiving.

Host a Potluck

Are you trying to be the holiday hero, tackling the entire menu? Why mess with the spirit of Thanksgiving? This is a potluck-style holiday at heart, so accept help and get everyone involved. Make a meal plan and ask your guests to contribute a few side dishes, appetizers or dessert. By hosting a potluck, you can focus your attention, time and budget on the turkey and main dishes. Just ensure everyone knows what they are bringing to avoid duplicate dishes.

Shop Early, Shop Wisely

Map out your grocery list well before Thanksgiving Day, see what you already have in the pantry, and purchase the rest as you find suitable bargains. Most of your needs for the side dishes will keep for some time, and you may be able to find a deal on a frozen turkey well before the holiday. If you wait until the last minute, you may end up paying a holiday premium.

Decorations Simply

You really do not need extravagant decorations to make the holiday special. Make your own simple decorations with whatever you have to work with. Natural decorations such as small gourds, pinecones, and leaves can make a festive centerpiece. Buying Thanksgiving-themed decorations can be a slippery slope. Once you start, you just keep going in pursuit of that perfect look. Buy a few quality, versatile pieces that you can bring out each year and use what nature offers. A little goes a long way.

Don’t Leave The Leftovers!

Leftovers are a typical Thanksgiving tradition (as is overeating), but there’s nothing worse than taking the time and money to prepare all that food and letting it go to waste after. Pack everything away and get creative with the leftovers in the following days – cut up the leftover meats for sandwiches, turn leftover veggies into a stir-fry, and use the turkey bones to make soup stock.


Keep these tips in mind so you can save money every time you host family dinner. We hope that these tips can help you avoid budget stress at Thanksgiving. If you are going to stress over Thanksgiving, make it for the traditional reasons – unexpected guests or political discussions at the dinner table.

Happy Thanksgiving from the LoanPigUSA team to yours!

What are your tips for hosting Thanksgiving on a budget?