How to Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Opening Intro -

    Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November, a day when Americans of all backgrounds, creeds and persuasions give thanks to God for their many blessings.

    Food, family and football are important ways for people to mark the day, with bountiful meals served to family members, friends and other invited guests.


The meal itself is usually an elaborate affair and an expensive one at that. Easily, you can spend hundreds of dollars on food, wine, desserts and appetizers, an expense that may be too much for one person or family to handle. The following are some money saving ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner this year:

Get a head count

— Nail down the number of people you will be serving this Thanksgiving. Make an allowance for extra heads, but come up with a number that will correspond to who is expected to be present. For example, if there will be 12 people present, then buy your food accordingly. This means you’ll select a smaller turkey and, if there will be several young children present, you’ll limit your portions to reflect smaller appetites. A 10-pound turkey may be more than enough for your gathering.

Clip coupons

— The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving offer some big bargains at the supermarket. Food marketers entice customers to buy their company’s brand of stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, buttermilk biscuits, pumpkin pie and other products. Check your Sunday paper and look online. Some supermarkets will double and even triple your coupons, enabling you to reap vast savings this season.

Stock up and save

— Along with clipping coupons, you can save money on canned goods by purchasing what you need as these items go on sale. Most stores will allow you to buy up to four of any one sale item per visit. Stock up and save, keeping in mind what you’ll need for Christmas too.

Go potluck

— There is no shame in asking people to bring food to your Thanksgiving dinner. You can still provide the Turkey, the stuffing, the gravy and one or two vegetables, while outsourcing the wine, the desserts, dinner rolls, salads and other meal favorites. Just ask your guests to bring enough food for the number of people who will be on hand. In the event someone doesn’t show or forgets to bring something, keep backup cans of items on hand…just in case!

Make your own decorations

— Unless you have a centerpiece to put on display from years past, you may find yourself wanting to buy new decorations for your table. Fresh flowers and arrangements are expensive, and don’t last. Instead, buy two or three candles, pair these with inexpensive glass candle holders, and center your candles in the middle of each glass. Add in acorns inside of the holder, surrounding the candle up to half of its height. Decorate the jars with fresh fallen leaves for a festive and colorful look or strategically place baby pumpkins or gourds around the table.

We’re used to preparing more food at Thanksgiving than anyone can possibly eat at one setting and having more leftovers than we can reasonably make good use of. You can still have a bountiful meal, but keep portion control in line with what people can and will eat. You’ll save money and you won’t find yourself throwing out spoiled leftovers.

See Also

Thanksgiving Traditions: Save on Groceries

Feeling Sleepy This Thanksgiving? Tryptophan Could Be The Culprit!

9 Air Travel Tips For Thanksgiving

Money Management reference:

lower family entertainment costs


end of post idea


Helpful article? Leave us a quick comment below.
And please give this article a rating and/or share it within your social networks.

facebook linkedin pinterest

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to The commission earnings are used to defray our cost of operation.

View our FTC Disclosure for other affiliate information.

Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".