While many of us are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, this year’s holiday feast could be more expensive than ever. Experts predict that your Thanksgiving meal will cost 13.5% more than last year, with a staggering 73% increase in the price per pound of turkey. The price of butter is also up 32% compared to 2021. 

Despite rising costs, you can still deliver a great Thanksgiving dinner on a budget. Here are five steps to increase your spending power and create a memorable (and delicious) holiday.

Start Planning Early 

Being prepared can pay off – keep an eye on early-bird deals and savings. When you buy and freeze items in advance, you can shop for the best price and get ahead of the game. Scrambling last minute means your costs (and anxiety!) will rise, so shop early and don’t forget about the time-tested, money-saving possibilities of grocery ads, loyalty programs, and coupons. A little time spent clipping coupons is worth the benefit to your bottom line.   

Keep It Simple

Even if you’re a pro in the kitchen, you can still narrow down your menu and make a memorable meal. Decide on four to five must-have dishes like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie for a classic Thanksgiving. Also, it doesn’t hurt to think outside the box. With a possible turkey shortage on the horizon, it could be a fun year to try a new main course like roasted chicken, pork or lasagna.

Ask For Help

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate community, so it’s the perfect opportunity to ask for support. Reach out to friends and family to see if they can bring a dish. Know someone who doesn’t like to cook? Every dinner needs a salad, a bag of ice, or a fun post-meal game. Embrace the potluck spirit of Thanksgiving and invite your guests to play a role in helping you put the event together. 

Do-It-Yourself Decor

Feeling festive on a budget is easy with DIY décor. Use Pinterest and parenting blogs for décor and craft inspiration that won’t break the bank. Kids love tracing their hands with crayons and creating custom turkey table toppers. You can also use outside greenery like leaves and pinecones for an eco-friendly and budget-savvy décor. 

Break Tradition (and Maybe Start a New One!)

Is this the year to reevaluate your signature dishes and mix them with something new? Think about adding alternatives and leveraging cost-effective ingredients like beans, canned goods, or rice. If you typically include alcohol as part of your meal, consider opting for mocktails, as alcohol prices are also rising.  

Be Thankful 

If your meal doesn’t turn out exactly as you pictured, don’t stress. Thanksgiving is about so much more than the food on your plate; it’s an opportunity to pause and give thanks with family and friends.

By preparing and staying flexible with your menu, you can plan a fun, budget-friendly Thanksgiving. Maybe you’ll even embrace new signature dishes and traditions.

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