*Originally published on 11/14/12. Enjoy!
There's something uniquely special about Thanksgiving. The pace of the day is a little slower. The focus turns more to family. And a sense of gratitude warms the air.
However, if we're not careful, Thanksgiving can quickly turn pricey as we attempt to prove an abundant spread. These are just a few ways we can focus on our favorites and still feast:
1. Name your Priorities
I grew up celebrating holidays with a wide variety of savory dips, hearty entrees, and sweet endings. With plenty of family, there was often 3-4 types of salads and appetizers, a full holiday meal, and several desserts. However, as we've moved away, we've come to live under a starting budget. For us, that has meant naming our priorities. Our list includes turkey, potatoes, hominey casserole, rolls, and cranberry applesauce. Oh yeah. And pumpkin pie cake! For your family, it may mean Grandma's Spinach Dip or an olive and pickle platter. Gather the family and get their input. Then narrow down from there.
2. Make a List (and check it twice)
Make a list of what you need. And be sure to check your cupboards... twice... before you hit the stores. You may have a bag of cranberries tucked in the back of the freezer or an extra cake mix already in the back of the pantry. Trust me, it happens. Making a list will keep you both from overbuying and from forgetting that one essential item.
3. Consolidate your Shopping
There are great deals to be had this time of year, but for me, running from store to store spending time and gas just doesn't add up. Pick the store with the best deals overall and go for it. And sometimes it works out in more ways than one. Some stores are offering discounted or free turkeys for purchasing a certain amount of groceries. This year I'm consolidating my regular grocery shopping with my holiday shopping to meet my discounted turkey mark.
4. Spread the Cost (and the work)
If you're inviting others into your home, accept help. Many would love to help. Thanksgiving is all about sharing blessings and being together. People love to contribute and not only will it keep your cost down, but it will also add variety to your menu.
5. Know your Limits
Thanksgiving doesn't have to include four desserts. And no one expects you to do everything. So give yourself, and your budget, a break. Don't be afraid to ask for help and simplify if need be. Know what works for you and enjoy the day.
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?
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