5 Thanksgiving Money-Saving Tips

Nov 7, 2022

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, enjoy good food, and spend quality time together. What should be a day to unwind and celebrate can become a stressful one as inflation continues to take a toll. In the U.S., food and beverage prices have jumped 13.5% from August of last year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite inflation, there are still things you can do to help lessen the financial impact of your Thanksgiving festivities.

Set a budget and stick to it

It's easy to go overboard when hosting loved ones during the holidays, but having fewer options on the table doesn't mean you're a bad host. Set a budget and stick to it. Knowing exactly what you need to buy before going to the grocery store allows you to stick to a budget and avoid unnecessary spending. The average American Thanksgiving meal for 10 costs $48.90, or less than $5.00 per person, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Simplify the menu

To cut down costs and avoid wasting food, remember that you don't need to purchase every side dish. When making the menu, consider which dishes guests prefer. Focus on the holiday staples and a couple of inexpensive sides everyone enjoys. From veggies to potatoes, Budget Bytes offers hundreds of side dish recipes that are budget-friendly and delicious.

Don't pay full price

Now that you know what you're looking for, you can find the most affordable opportunity to purchase them. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, grocery stores will offer sales on holiday essentials such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more. Keep an eye out for the best deals and coupons. A helpful tool to compare the best prices for food is the Flipp App. The app allows you to choose which store's coupons and circulars you are interested in to compare prices and deals. You can then get the coupons sent right to your phone.

Go generic

Another way to save some money at the store is by purchasing generic or store brands items. Your guests won't know the difference! Consumer Reports found that store brand food and drinks are typically 20% to 25% cheaper than the name brands of the same product. Depending on what it is, many store/generic brands are just as good as the more expensive name brands. Switching over most of your Thanksgiving essentials to store brands can lead to sizeable savings.

Host a potluck

If many people will be enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, it shouldn't just be up to you to shoulder the burden of putting it on — ask guests to pitch in! More people pitching in can expand your menu while lessening your personal financial burden. It will also reduce the amount of time needed in the kitchen, so you can spend more time enjoying the day with loved ones.

While we all continue to feel inflation's impact on our grocery shopping trips, following these easy steps can help limit the added financial stress of turkey day.


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor ®
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