Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around appreciating everything that makes your life special — all that you've accomplished over the course of the last year, the new friendships you've made and the insights into life you've gained.
So when it comes to celebrating this holiday, many people want to fork out as much dough as possible to make it even more special. Today, we're here to tell you that you don't have to break the bank to have a full-on festive feast with your family and friends.
Create Your Budget
First, figure out what's most important. Will this year's celebration involve time spent with your closest friends, your relatives, a focus on the food itself, or are you creating brand new traditions for your family?
Once you determine your priorities, you can then decide exactly what should be spent to make those special moments happen. Estimate carefully what you'll need to spend on main courses, desserts and beverages. Then, create a reasonable buffer for the unforeseen extras. You never know what the holiday season might throw your way!
Don't Buy Everything at Once
Some holiday planners think the wisest way to acquire all they'll need for any holiday is to make one big trip and fill the trunk of their car with everything they could possibly need.
This can be appealing for the time saved by not having to make multiple trips, sure. But when you put everything in the basket all at once, you're missing out on some potentially fantastic deals elsewhere.
Keep a close eye on discounts and package deals offered by other local stores. Look in your local paper for coupons, and ask questions to find out which stores have the best prices on individual items. It might take some diligence, but you could save a huge amount on your Thanksgiving spread by doing so.
Cut Down on Side Dishes
Do you need to have yams and mashed potatoes? A JELL-O salad and a green salad? Rolls and bread? You can get Thanksgiving savings by paring down your menu. Reduce the number of side dishes, so you only have to buy a few ingredients. Most families make things out of a sense of tradition, but does anyone actually eat the boiled Brussels sprouts? If not, skip them this year.
Go to Someone Else's House
If you really want to know how to save money during the Thanksgiving holiday season, the cheapest route to go is not to cook at all. If another family invited you to spend the holiday with them, consider accepting that invitation. Now, you are only responsible for bringing a side dish, which will give you a true budget Thanksgiving.
Simplify Your Desserts
One of our favorite Thanksgiving shopping tips is to spend less on the ingredients for your desserts. Don't use a fancy cookbook or a recipe you found online with 25 ingredients. Instead, look for recipes that utilize ingredients you have around the house, such as canned pumpkin, sugar and flour. Simple desserts taste just as good as complicated ones, and you will save time in the kitchen, too.
Order Groceries Online
Want to shield yourself from making impulse purchases at the store? Ordering online can often be cheaper than heading to the store. You won't see anything that piques your interest in the checkout aisle, and you can stick to your list more closely.
Use DIY Decorations
Thanksgiving decorations may not be as involved as those you'll need for Christmastime, but they do take a little know-how and attention to detail.
Fortunately, most of what makes Thanksgiving decorations work is an incorporation of the natural environment of the season. That means you won't have to dig into your Thanksgiving budget at all to buy holiday-appropriate decorations.
Pinecones, autumn leaves, branches, gourds — anything you can find outside of your home or growing in the great outdoors of your Dallas, Austin or Palestine community will work splendidly.
If you aren't the most amazing cook in your family, you probably plan on buying most of your food items pre-cooked. Store-bought desserts and appetizers are appealing for the amount of time they'll save you on preparation, but think about their costs.
To save yourself time yet still end up with scrumptious Thanksgiving treats, enlist the help of your family and friends. Find out who has a deft hand in the kitchen and see if they'll contribute their own food items to the cause of filling out the dinner table.
For the rest of your food, especially your main entrees like turkey and ham, it's best you learn to cure them yourself now. The amount of money you'll save for the rest of your life not having someone else cook your holiday meals will definitely pay off in the long run.
Cut Costs Wherever Possible
The difference between generic products and name brand are nearly indistinguishable when you account for the massive amount of food everyone will have on their plates. In other words, it's okay to buy the cheaper items as much as possible.
For instance, one thing everyone loves to pair with a delicious Thanksgiving dinner is a glass of wine. And if some people with a more acute palate might want the most expensive bottle possible -- you can let them pick up the tab. Instead, buy a box of wine. It might not be the classiest option, but it is the most cost-effective.
And as always, if you need just a little help to push you through the holidays with your finances intact, there's the option of a quick and easy loan from Atlas Credit. You can borrow as little as $100 or as much as $1,400 to make your holiday season a great success. Apply online or in-store at one of our locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma today!