This is a post by BargainBabe.com Yazmin Cruz.
Thanksgiving should be a day were we gather with friends and family to give thanks and catch up, but hosting or attending a large gathering can create anxiety. Let’s face it, there is are a lot of things that need to get done before we can sit down and chow! Below I share 10 tips to keep you sane. Best of all, they will save you money!
1. Skip pre-holiday parties – There are so many parties and gatherings around this time, but you don’t have to go to all of them to be in the holiday spirit. Attend high-priority events, like your company’s Thanksgiving potluck and Thanksgiving lunch at your child’s school, and skip the rest. Not only will you cut the cost of buying hostess gifts, but you’ll have more time to plan your Thanksgiving dinner. You can always go next year!
2. Make a plan – Start planning early! Start making a list of items you’ll need and start looking for specials. Don’t forget to check My Coupon Database to find grocery and drugstore coupons. Make sure to keep an eye on our weekly grocery coupon matches (they’re published on Wednesdays) where I’ll let you know where to find deals on stuffing, potatoes and turkeys.
3. Decorate on budget – Decorations can be as simple as your child’s art work from school. You can also reuse your Halloween pumpkins to decorate your home. A simple centerpiece can be made by cutting the top of the pumpkin, filing it a fourth of the way up with water and adding flowers. Stay tuned for Bobbi’s ideas on frugal Thanksgiving decorations.
4. Delegate tasks – Have friends and family pitch in with sides, desserts, and drinks. It will give you one less thing to do and it will cut down on the cost. Most guests like to stay busy and help out so don’t be afraid to give them tasks when they arrive.
5. Buy inexpensive booze – If your family celebrates with a glass or two of wine, you must read Bargain Babe’s post about inexpensive Merlot wines and The Reverse Wine Snob’s post on 10 great tasting wines for less than $10. Stock up at Trader Joe’s, Costco, or raid the discount barrel at your local store.
6. Ditch sitting down – Host an hor d’oeuvre-and-cocktail party! Appetizers cost less than putting a complete meal together and making a signature drink will cut down on the cost.
7. Be honest with overnighters – Many times stress comes from having to accommodate relatives in your home. Tell them clearly whether they can or can’t stay with you and for how long. The longer they stick around, the heftier the bill will be for you (assuming they’re not pitching in when you go out). I’d be very tactful if you’re letting them know they can’t stay with you. Avoid stirring up drama.
8. Encourage bonding – Plan cheap activities that will help people bond. It can be as simple as having them head to the park while you cook dinner (it may just be me, but I get so stressed when there’s a lot of people in the kitchen while I’m trying to cook). You can also have them watch the parade or some football.
9. Take a headcount – Knowing how many people to expect will help you figure out how much food to buy. It will also keep you from spending extra money. Sure, leftovers are tasty, but not when they spoil.
10. Keep your cool – Don’t forget what Thanksgiving is all about! Simply reflecting on what you’re thankful for will help minimize stress without breaking the bank on pricey massage therapy. You’re probably the only one who will notice those extra details you feel are essential.