Happy Thanksgiving Day! Autumn feast. Family preparing traditional dinner.

A lot of families have been living with more financial instability than usual this year and are looking for new ways to save money. Still, every family wants to enjoy the holidays. This includes Thanksgiving. The most important part of Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully, there are strategies you can use to keep your Thanksgiving dinner under budget so you can focus on enjoying the holiday with your family instead of worrying about money.

Budget Out All Your Ingredients

One mistake many people make is simply not adding up the numbers before they go shopping. With the internet, doing so is rather easy. Many grocery stores list pricing on their websites and are certainly going to advertise sales going into the Thanksgiving holiday. Make a list of each ingredient you need as well as the price and add up the total. This will help you know whether or not you are under budget or over budget in regards to your grocery list.

Get a Cash Discount on Your Thanksgiving Groceries

Another money-saving strategy you could use is obtaining something known as a cash discount. If a store has a cash discount program, you could receive as much as a 3.99 percent discount on your purchases just by paying in cash. These programs are used to help stores deal with the fees associated with credit card processing. The discounts given to cash-paying customers are one of the biggest perks. Investigate which grocery stores in your area use this program.

Have Your Guests Bring a Dish

Thanksgiving is a communal holiday. It’s a time for families to come together and break bread. For many families, they also have the tradition of having different family members bring different dishes to the dinner. One family member does the turkey, other family members bring side dishes and another relative brings the dessert. This potluck style Thanksgiving has been popular with families for many decades. It brings down the overall costs for the host. It’s also fun and makes everyone feel involved. You may even end up surprised at who in your family is a better cook than you realized.

Make It All Yourself Instead of Relying on Premade

Sometimes store-bought food items can be more expensive than making it yourself. You’ll probably save money making your own stuffing from breadcrumbs. You’ll also save money making your chicken stock, gravy, and pie crusts. You can even make your own whipped cream and save money doing so. Just watch a few tutorials online and make sure you have the process for making these items down well before the big day. You may be surprised at how good of a job you do. Store-bought is rarely as good as homemade in most cases. Becoming a more well-rounded cook will also benefit your family year-round.

Choose a Frozen Turkey

You should be aware of the fact that frozen turkey is always multiple times cheaper than fresh turkey. Another fact you may be blissfully unaware of is that frozen turkey may taste better than fresh to most people’s palates. According to most turkey connoisseurs, fresh turkey tastes more gamy than frozen. Gaminess is an acquired taste for sure that most people simply do not enjoy. Unless your family has a lot of hunters, they may end up enjoying the flavor profile of a frozen bird more. Instead, focus on the preparation to make sure the meat is moist and tasty. No one will know the bird was ever frozen.

Get Any Extras You Need From the Dollar Store

Of course, to host a Thanksgiving dinner, you need more than just the food. You’ll need festive decor, table cloths, napkins, cups, and more. Instead of paying a lot for these items, head to the dollar store and try to find some good deals. Dollar stores make a lot of money off of holiday-themed decor and party supplies. You should be able to find everything you need at a much cheaper price than other stores.

After a stressful year, everyone is looking very forward to the holidays. However, you can enjoy the holidays without going into debt. Use some of the tips above to keep your Thanksgiving dinner under budget. Your family will still greatly enjoy it, and you’ll save some money at the same time.