This year many of us are feeling the pinch of the economy and trying to scale down our Thanksgiving dinners. I would urge everyone not to cut down on their guest list, but to rethink the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Your friends and family are coming to your home to be with you, not your grandmother’s green bean casserole.
So how do you reconcile hosting a gathering and your shrinking budget?
1. To save this Thanksgiving, check your local grocery store for Butterball’s holiday promotions as well as www.Butterball.com for money-saving coupons. If your local grocery store has a program where you can earn a free turkey by spending money at their store during the month leading up to Thanksgiving make sure you select a Butterball so your turkey will turn out picture-perfect!
2. Shop well ahead of time for your non perishable food items. Adding some canned cranberry sauce to your cart one month and stuffing mix the next won’t make as much of an impact on your overall budget as if you wait until the last minute to do all of your shopping.
3. Think back to the first Thanksgiving and simplify your meal. Instead of elaborate side dishes, serve things like roasted vegetables, corn on the cob, baked potatoes.
4. Give yourself a budget and think outside the box. There is no reason to be locked into the same menu every year just because that is the way it has always been done. This is especially true if there are items that on your menu that no one even likes, green bean casserole I am looking at you!
5. Shop in your pantry. I am looking in my pantry right now and I have a huge bag of basmati rice. Who says that rice can’t be a side dish? A baked pasta dish is also economical, filling, and can feed many people. If your family is Italian, like mine, you probably already have pasta as a staple at all holidays anyway.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a side dish. I am sure that most of them would welcome the idea of bringing one of their favorites to share. Perhaps your sister in law is a superb baker, why not ask her to supply desserts. No sense in taking on more than you can handle, both financially and mentally.
7. Skip the expensive cornucopia centerpieces for your table. Decorate with items that you already own.
Thanksgiving should be a time to reflect on all the blessings that we have, not worry about how we are going to pay for it.