October 04, 2012 | By: Roxanne Ramedani

Thanksgiving on a budget.

If you’re like most Canadians, this weekend you’ll be spending most of your time socializing and eating delicious food with friends and family. Although the holiday seasons are great for get-togethers, these holiday events can become very expensive for those who dare to host. This Thanksgiving let us relinquish the fancy spreads and crazy decor and get back to the basics.

Here’s how:

Planning/Purchasing Ahead – It’s always a good idea to start planning a week before your big dinner, so get your markers out and circle a big circle over October 8th and start planning! Planning your menu in advance saves you a lot of money and last minute stress! Create a shopping list of everything you need and cross-reference it with what you already have in your inventory. By doing so you’ll be much more organized for your dinner, while preventing yourself from overspending on items you already have at home. Try to purchase items in advance to save you the hassle of long line ups at the grocery store ie. try buying a frozen turkey this year a few days prior to your dinner. You’ll have enough time to thaw it and have spent less time at the grocery store buying it.

Everyone loves the Classics – Thanksgiving is all about the classics. Save the experimenting for another day. Nothing is more disastrous than trying out a new recipe at a dinner party. If your guests don’t fancy it or if something goes wrong during the cooking process, that’s automatically time and money down the drain. That being said, you really can't go wrong with a classic menu of roast turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Sticking with menu items you know and love can save you time, money, and frowns from disappointed guests.

Décor by Mother Nature – Look outside, isn’t it beautiful? The bright red, yellow and orange fall colours are great for décor. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a florist this Thanksgiving. This year, collect natural elements from your backyard for free and fresh décor. Forget shelling out those big bucks for a centrepiece, fill a vase halfway with acorns, and then arrange willow branches, sturdy sticks with yellow and red leaves over the top. Don’t like acorns? How about buying a few small pumpkins and/or squash and set them as a beautiful centrepiece or even combine both centrepiece ideas as one. It’s really up to you and guests will love the vibrant colours, and you’ll love the frugal creativity.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Side) – There’s nothing wrong with a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. Just make sure you let your guests know well in advance. Saves you time, money and headaches!

Use leftovers – Use the leftovers after your big dinner to make sure nothing goes to waste. Left-over turkey is not only high in protein/low in fat but also great in many other dishes. Who can say no to an
open face turkey sandwich smothered in all the goodies your thanksgiving dinner had to offer or a rich penne pasta with turkey and chopped up green beans?

Have more Thanksgiving tips? Feel free to suggest other tips to our readers and have a great Thanksgiving!


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