Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner Tips

Although economists are saying that the recession has ended, most people are still feeling the pain of this recession and with Thanksgiving around the corner (for our Canadian readers) some are wondering how to make the most out of it.  A memorable Thanksgiving doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips for a frugal, relaxed, and memorable Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Dinner

1. Plan Ahead

Although this maybe late for our Canadian readers, the best time to start shopping for Thanksgiving dinner is the weeks leading up to it. A few weeks before Thanksgiving you will see sales and coupons for many traditional Thanksgiving dinner items. When you see them just clip them and make the purchases along with your weekly shopping.

2. Avoid Convenience Foods

Convenience foods such as prepackaged items can cost you much more than if you were to make foods from scratch. Avoiding these convenience foods can save you a lot of money on your Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Buy Just Enough

Often we buy much more than we can eat, buying too much turkey only to throw it out later isn’t very frugal. Buy just enough to do the job and save! Not sure how much is enough? You can use the turkey calculator to calculate exactly how much you should buy.

4. Use Leftovers for Future Meals

Even if you try to just buy enough, chances are you will still have leftovers. If you do, don’t just throw them away, use it for future meals. Use the leftover vegetables and mix them together to use in soups, you can freeze the left over turkey for future meals as well.

5. Have a Pot Luck Style Dinner

Some may not like this idea, but for me Thanksgiving dinner is about the company and not so much about the food. So if you are hosting the dinner this year see if you can do a potluck dinner, you can assign everyone a dish while you make the turkey. This will not only save everyone money but also time and hassle.

Thanksgiving does not have to be expensive or stressful, just keep things simple and plan ahead. Enjoy your company and spend some time reflecting on things you are thankful for!


What are your frugal Thanksgiving ideas? Any interesting family traditions you would like to share?

8 Responses to Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner Tips

  1. I don’t know if I have ever thrown out left over turkey. We always have both our families come by and we fry up a couple of turkey’s, everyone else brings a dish. This way I am only on the hook for the birds, which are freaking expensive when you count the fry oil.

  2. The good thing is that there are a lot of leftovers that can be used for meals for the next few nights. So I wouldn’t worry about getting less, just save what you don’t eat.

  3. I live with my brother and up until this year we’ve lived as truckers eating Thanksgiving on the road and being disappointed and one year not very thankful of food poisoning. The turkey calculator should be very handy. I never had luck cooking say just turkey breast. I want to have a true feast with tasty sides, doesn’t have to tradtional just affordable. While sone say that “The recession is over.” it’s still a challenge when people make less than $10 an hour. Even for just two people. I hope to invite a few people worse off than myself that can’t cook. So if you know of a good meal plan that is a little different than traditional that saves money that’s just as tasty please let me know. 2-5 people. Hope your turkey day is remarkably well.

  4. We always use the left overs for meas for the next week. I like potluck dinners though if funds are running low. Often stores will give away a free turkey if you spend a certain amount. If I am shopping there anyways it is a big help with Thanksgiving dinner.

  5. To the trucker who wants a good meal. If you are truly down and out just go to the deli and buy a 1/4 lb of turkey breast ask them to slice thick, buy a sweet potatoe and a can of turkey gravy and a bag of white bread. Bake the sweet potatoe in the microwave assemble the plate and pour hot canned gravy over it all. I think you could get all of this for about $6 bucks. Buy some more turkey for sandwiches and splurge on a can of cranberry sauce if you can.

  6. It’s really a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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