The U.S. economy is in poor shape, joblessness is rising and people are just not willing to spend their money on frills any more. The expenses involved in having the traditional Thanksgiving dinner may be troublesome this year to many families.
They could be rethinking of how to do it on a budget. There actually are ways to do it economically, but still make certain that everyone enjoys the traditional family experience.
1. Combine your dinner celebration with neighbors or another family of relatives. If you don’t have enough silverware, plates and chairs, the guests could bring them. It’s just about as much work to cook and clean to feed a dozen people as it is to have just four at the Thanksgiving table.
Additionally, buying the necessary ingredients in bulk, such as potatoes and fruit, is much cheaper than just taking home just a few at a time. Look for special deals. Some butcher shops and supermarkets offer a free turkey for each $100 to $200 spent in the store during November.
2. Ask your Thanksgiving dinner guests to prepare and bring some of the courses, such as vegetables, salads, breads, fruits, desserts and wines.
3. Make the Thanksgiving dinner in your house a dutch treat. Work up a budget for your expected dinner expenses, and then ask your guests pay equal shares.
4. Consider everyone going out to a buffet Thanksgiving dinner, rather than the traditional home-cooked meal or fancy restaurant visit. Check the internet or daily newspaper for inexpensive, but quality buffet restaurants in your area.
In most cities, the the cost will be as high as $25 for adults, $10 for kids over age five, and free to younger ones. At first glance, the cost may seem more than you’d spend for a home-cooked dinner.
However, if you consider that you’ll have no need to buy the ingredients and then drag them home to store, prepare and serve the meal. After the buffet meal, you just get up and go home, with no after-dinner clean-up nor trash duties. Other buffet benefits are that the heavy eaters can go back for second and third helpings, while those who don’t like turkey will have choices of many other buffet entrees.
Rethinking the traditional Thanksgiving dinner on a budget is appropriate for this time of economic uncertainty. With common sense planning and cooperation from friends and family, you can still have a great holiday dinner.