I read somewhere recently that the percentage of families forgoing Thanksgiving at their house was on the rise this year. I’d give you the exact statistic but then I’d have to go Google it, and then quote my source, yada yada yada…I’m a little too lazy right now. Anyways, I don’t know about you but the only downfall of a turkey and football laden day is that I have to leave the comfort of my own home to enjoy it. But alas, this is what being with family is all about. Now if you have the means to bring the entire family over and host your own Thanksgiving shindig then don’t dimiss it purely on cost, I can provide you with some helpful tips on how to keep cost burden to a minimum, while at the same time allowing you to live out my dream of being a lazy pajama wearing bum that day.
It’s all about the turkey! I can’t stress this enough. I’m not even sure if the Indians and Pilgrims had turkey at their first sit down together, but you can damn well be sure that people will be upset if you don’t have any. That being said, this is the main dish that everyone looks forward to, but it’s those side dishes that rack up the costs. Go a little extra on a larger turkey and cut back on those useless side dishes that people only pick at. Not only will this save you a ton of money, but people will be thankful they don’t have to pretend to enjoy your green bean casserole.
Now that we have established a cost cutting measure that saves you a ton of time, let’s suggest a cost cutting measure that will take a little more time. Instead of buying all the canned goods, the packets of mixtures, and pre-made hooplah, try your hand at preparing everything from scratch. Granted this takes a person who knows their way around the kitchen, but if you aren’t fully comfortable going it alone then give your mom a call, I’m sure she would be willing to lend a hand. Cooking from scratch is not only a cheaper option, it tends to be a healthier and tastier one at that.
We may call them “guests” but let’s be realistic, this is family that we are inviting over for dinner. It may not be out of the question to ask them to bring over a specialty dish of their own. While the cost and time involved on one dish isn’t much for each person, it saves you a ton as a whole. I know some may view this as tacky, but again, it’s another option to save both time and money when both become so scarce around the holiday season.
Ok, so this last tip really utilizes the concept of sunk costs. You’ve already gone out and bought all the ingredients, prepared the meal, and had the feast of your life. No matter how hard you tried to make just enough for everyone you find that you’ve made enough for a small army. The money might be gone, but the food certainly is not. Eat those leftovers until they are gone, even if it means that you can’t stand the sight of turkey and mashed potatoes until the next Thanksgiving…it will save you from having to spend MORE money on food over the next couple days.
Now make sure whatever you do, enjoy Thanksgiving. We only get so much time away from work and obligations, and even less time to spend with our extended families, so try not to worry too much about the cost, and more about the togetherness. Happy T-Day kids.