How to Have Guests for Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget

Purchase Your Veggies From a Farmer's Market image by Christi Bowers, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner can be expensive to prepare and serve. You have to spend money on food and pay for the gas to go to the grocery store. You need enough food for everyone to be well fed. Turkeys can be costly, and so can the side dishes made to accompany them. This article will explore how to entertain guests for Thanksgiving dinner on a budget.


Step 1

Limit the number of guests. Invite only a few people to slash the costs of the meal. The less guests, the smaller turkey you can buy. Invite just close friends and family members.

Step 2

Limit the menu. There's no need to serve every dish ever made for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, choose one meat, one potato, one vegetable and one dessert. Make stuffing or rolls, and serve some type of salad like cranberry sauce.

Step 3

Figure out exactly what size turkey you'll need. Use experience from years past. If last year you bought a 10-pound turkey and half of it was leftover, get a six-pound turkey this year. You'll save money and you won't have to eat turkey sandwiches for the rest of the week.

Step 4

Buy your food for less and take advantage of specials. Produce costs less at the local farmer's market. The vegetables are fresher and are grown locally. Alternatively, purchase enough at the grocery store to get a free turkey, even if it means buying some food for your normal grocery list at the same time.

Step 5

Serve less expensive food items at your Thanksgiving dinner. You may love asparagus, but it costs more than lima beans or green beans.

Step 6

Try a nontraditional menu. Turkey can be expensive. Serve spaghetti instead. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about giving, so it shouldn't matter too much if you don't serve a turkey.

Step 7

Cut down on paper costs. Make decorations out of things you already have in your home instead of purchasing paper decorations. Use regular dinner ware instead of buying paper plates and cups. This will help the budget and do less harm to the environment.

Tips and Warnings

Serving a smaller turkey can save you money and waste less food. Serving something other than turkey can help your overall meal cost less.

Things You'll Need

Food, Utensils, Dishes, Glassware, Napkins, Table Cloth

Photo by: Christi Bowers, 2008

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Have Guests for Thanksgiving Dinner on a Budget