3 Ways to Save as You Celebrate Thanksgiving

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Thanksgiving Day is approaching and the accompanying grocery list is growing longer. From food purchasing and preparation to travel and accommodations, you’ll be spending money, so make sure to plan for it in your November budget. Yes, Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and be thankful, not to be pinching pennies or worrying about money; but planning ahead and being aware of how you can save will enable you to do that. Consider the following tips for saving money this Thanksgiving.

Don’t Buy More, Don’t Buy Less
If you’re concerned about what the food is going to cost you, there’s some good news. The cost of putting on a traditional Thanksgiving Day spread is projected to be roughly the same as it was last year, if not slightly cheaper, thanks to lower fuel costs and food prices. You may spend more on your turkey than last year, due to higher demand and feed prices, but you’ll spend less on the rest of the meal, so it evens out. While that doesn’t offer any immediate savings on the meal itself, it at least means you won’t have to tighten your food budget for the big event. On the other hand, don’t go too crazy and overspend, either. Base your meal planning on how many people you’ll be serving, not simply on what you’ve always made. Leftovers are great if you can use them before they spoil, but there’s no need to be wasteful. Look at what you spent last year if it was for a comparable crowd, and use that as a guideline.

There is one disclaimer for low food prices: it doesn’t include organics. The price of organic foods is as high as it ever was, and doesn’t show signs of decreasing soon. If eating organic is important to you, budget a little extra for your meat and produce and cut as much as you can in other food categories.

Make it Yourself
Even though few families will have the need (or desire) to cut back on their traditional Thanksgiving Day feast, there are still ways you can save money. If you want to trim back your spending, consider making everything yourself. It will probably taste better and be healthier for you while saving you up to 75% the cost of prepared foods. Besides, handing down family recipes and spending time in preparing the meal will only increase your enjoyment of the holiday.

Travel: plains, trains or automobiles?
Thanksgiving Day travel is a large contributor to your costs for the whole event, and you shouldn’t fail to account for it in your budget this month, especially since both airfare and train ticket prices have gone up significantly. If you have a choice and don’t mind planning for more travel time, it will probably be more cost-efficient to drive to your destination this Thanksgiving, or travel by bus. Don’t just assume this, however;  still check airfare prices and compare them to the alternate fuel and lodging expenses of a road trip.

Thanksgiving Day only comes once a year, so don’t let tight finances keep you from enjoying it. Plan ahead and make this year’s feast even better than before. Just keep in mind that the time spent with your family will always be worth the expense.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

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