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Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving on a Budget KEEPING YOUR STOMACH AND YOUR WALLET FULL
G athering together with your friends and family to celebrate a fun and festive Thanksgiving is meant to be a time filled with excitement, joy, and gratitude. But, if you’re in the throngs of financial hardship, this time of year can often leave you feeling more nervous than enthusiastic. According to a survey conducted
mashed potatoes, vegetables, and pies — you’ll notice that making them from scratch is actually cheaper than buying a store’s premade options.
Another important option to keep in mind this time of year is that several local resources will often be able to help you acquire a turkey you can cook at home. Since the turkey is often the most expensive item to purchase, if you find you are scraping together your last bit of change to provide your family with a festive Thanksgiving dinner, consider
by GOBankingRates, the vast majority of Americans end up spending at least $150 on groceries for their Thanksgiving meal, and that’s not including any extra cash spent on beverages and decorations. For people utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, even
whipping up the staple Thanksgiving dishes can seem out of financial reach. But just because the holiday season has the propensity to get expensive doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to celebrate and have fun while still sticking to a budget. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when trying to stretch out your holiday dollars is to plan carefully. Start looking for recipes that have a mix of common ingredients, are easy to prepare, and can be prepared ahead of time. If you’re able to get the ingredients to make pies or casseroles, you can keep them frozen until the big day. By doing so, you can spread out the cost of purchasing meal items over a number of weeks, rather than all at once. This also helps reduce last- minute emergencies, which lead to unforeseen purchases. Once you have your dishes planned, check through your cupboards to avoid duplicate purchases and then shop local stores for bargain deals. Many items, like broths and cranberry sauce, can be stored ahead of time. Additionally, while making a list of your ingredients, see how many dishes you can make from scratch. Doing so is usually less expensive than buying pre-prepared, packaged foods. For example, if you consider the primary dishes associated with Thanksgiving — turkey,
looking for nonprofit organizations who can help. Since SNAP benefits are determined using a formula that
does not account for the required excess spending during the holidays, it is unrealistic that families can afford a Thanksgiving meal in addition to the usual groceries for the rest of the month. There are ways to ensure this year’s celebrations are still festive and fun without totally emptying your pockets. Thanksgiving is all about sharing meaningful moments with the people you care about, and stressing about last-minute meal purchases and preparations is bound to dampen your holiday. Keep these tips in mind, and, if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to let us know!
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
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