Pull Out All The Stops This Thanksgiving without Breaking Your Budget

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, appreciate the gifts life brings and enjoy a generous feast with all the trimmings. That type of dinner can come at a bit of a price.

According to the latest estimate of the American Farm Bureau Federation, preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 costs about $49, and that doesn’t include decorations, appetizers, drinks or desserts beyond the classic pumpkin pie. Thankfully, if you’re on a budget, you’ve got options to cut costs and still enjoy that special meal.

Free turkeys: Turkey can be the most expensive single item on the table, with a 16-pound bird averaging close to $22. We found a recipe for a delicious herb-roasted turkey at a cost of $2.39 per serving.  We hope you enjoy it.

To cut the price even further, consider making gravy and stuffing from scratch. While this takes a little extra time, the ingredients cost much less than buying it from your local market, and guests will enjoy that homemade flavor. Try this delicious Sausage and Fruit stuffing for only $2.01 per serving.

Skip the appetizers:  A great Thanksgiving dinner should really be enough on its own without having to fill up on chips, cheeses and dips beforehand. If you want to have something light try these Lemon and Black Pepper Cheese Straws that only cost $1.11 per serving.

Shop smart: A few simple shopping choices can really slash your Thanksgiving dinner bill. Opt for affordable generics over the pricier name brands.

Keep it simple: Basic recipes with just a few ingredients tend to be much more affordable to prepare than those with exotic touches.  For the best value, choose in-season, local produce rather than imported fruits and vegetables. Classic autumn fare such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples or Brussels sprouts can perfectly compliment your bird without breaking the bank.  We love to serve a Pilgrim salad with fresh pecans, corn and cranberries.  This is a nice complement to the cooked vegetable sides on your menu. And it’s only $2.20 per serving.

Potluck options: Potluck dinners are always an adventure. You never know quite what will turn up, and that’s part of the fun. They’re also a way to share Thanksgiving expenses since everyone bears a portion of the meal’s cost. Consider preparing the turkey, gravy and stuffing and then ask each guest to bring a side dish, beverage or dessert. You’ll end up with a table that reflects everyone there, adding an extra element of warmth to the occasion.
A little extra thought and planning go a long way toward keeping Thanksgiving dinner costs down without sacrificing quality. So, it is possible to pull out all the stops this Thanksgiving without breaking your budget.

Happy Thanksgiving from allU.S. Credit Union!