Saving Money on Thanksgiving

Since the cost of food as risen, Thanksgiving dinner could cost you 6% more this year than previous years.  Here are some of my favorite ways to save money on Thanksgiving, while having a festive dinner the entire family will enjoy.

  1. Kid Art — Try not to spend money on decorations for your holiday table.  Instead, get the kids busy with some easy craft projects to help decorate.  This year, we are having Emily stamp a solid tablecloth with leaf stamps using fabric paint and fabric markers.  Kids can also make centerpieces, and place cards.  They can even make Thanksgiving Wreaths.  Get creative!
  2. Planning  — This is probably the most important aspect of having a Thanksgiving on a budget.  As with most of the frugal life, planning is crucial to getting the best deals at the best possible time.  Plan your side dish menu around items that are on sale and that can be combined with a coupon for maximum savings. can be a great resource for planning your Thanksgiving menu.
  3. Potluck — Consider hosting a potluck Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Ask your guests to bring a side dish, bottle of wine, or dessert to share.  This helps foster a sense of community, and helps lighten the load for the host.
  4. Frugal Recipes — For more money saving tips and great Thanksgiving recipes, visit  She includes recipes for Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Dinner Rolls, and more!
  5. Buy What You Need — Try not to go overboard buying too much food.  If you need help with this, see Estimating Food Quantities for a Party.
  6. Volunteer — Your entire family can help out at a food kitchen.  Not only will your Thanksgiving dinner be free, but you will also cultivate a better sense of what Thanksgiving is all about.
Have a good Thanksgiving money-saving tip to share?  Leave a comment!


  1. Orange Ginger cranberry sauce? Sounds different. I'm trying to be frugal without settling for t.v. dinners. I'm going to check out the recipes when I'm on a computer. Thanks for the cranberry sauce idea. Has to beat trucker food.