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Thanksgiving can be such a special time of the year. It is a time for getting together with friends and family to celebrate and be thankful. But it can also get quite expensive. Turkeys, and sweet potato pies, and casseroles, and apple crumbles … And that is just the groceries! We haven’t even decorated yet!

To help you save a little extra money without sacrificing on that delicious harvest meal, we put together a few smart ways to trim that exorbitant Thanksgiving bill.

1. BYOD, all the way!

Bring Your Own Dish, that is. This holiday is about family and friends gathering together. It shouldn’t be about one person taking on, not only the financial responsibility of the gathering, but of all the work involved as well. If each person brings just one dish, the cost and the workload is spread across several people and makes it easier and cheaper for everyone. It’s also a great way to try new and interesting dishes that may become regular traditions at your Thanksgiving table.

2. Shop early

The more you plan ahead, the more deals you are able to scout. Waiting for deals, especially on the expensive items like the turkey, is a great way to minimize the costs. Using a coupon app – like the ones we mentioned in our HOW TO SAVE ON GROCERIES AND STILL MAKE AWESOME MEALS! blog about saving on your grocery bill – is a great way to get some extra cash back at the end of the month. And with Christmas coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, a few extra dollars will go a long way!

3. Decorate with nature

Skip the expensive trip to the décor store and opt instead for the nature look. Fall is full of wonderful, colorful decorations like fallen leaves, pine cones, and branches. Grab a big plump pumpkin and, voila, you have a ready-made centerpiece that you can turn into a pie the following week!

4. Get a headcount

Getting an accurate headcount helps when planning the right amount of food. Having some leftovers is great but eating turkey for the two weeks following Thanksgiving can get tiresome. Good Housekeeping has a great downloadable calculator ( to help calculate how much food you need for your group. Just make sure to add two extra people to your count, in case you have a couple of last minute drop-ins!


Making sure to utilize as much of your leftovers as possible is a good way to justify the costs of the meal. But that doesn’t mean eating turkey sandwiches all week. There are some creative and scrumptious ideas for different recipes using your Thanksgiving leftovers. So just call up your favorite online recipe website and get creative with those leftover meals!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time meant for giving thanks and surrounding yourself with love and gratitude. It shouldn’t be about spending money and making the perfect, lavish meal in the perfect, spotless house. Making it about the people that bless your home is the perfect way to re-prioritize the meaning of the holiday and save some money at the same time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!