Do These Things to Save Money When You’re Hosting Thanksgiving

Don’t look at the camera, Uncle Ron.
Don’t look at the camera, Uncle Ron.

Don’t hold your breath for a Thanksgiving miracle this year—at least, not if you’re hoping to find an inflation-proof turkey. According to TODAY.com, this year’s meal will no doubt cost you more than any other, with rising prices and supply chain issues hitting nearly every ingredient necessary to create a successful turkey dinner. We’ve previously emphasized that planning early is the secret sauce to serving Thanksgiving on a budget. But even as we approach the final countdown to turkey day, there are ways you can still find savings while hosting.

Shop right now (as much as possible)

The big day is only two weeks away, but there’s still time to avoid last-minute price hikes or stock shortages. If you haven’t yet, buy whatever non-perishables you need (like canned pumpkin or fried onions) right now.

Read more

If you don’t already have a list of everything you need as a host, get on that ASAP. While you’re making your shopping list, make sure to think through portion sizes, too. It’s easy to err on the side of caution and buy more than you’ll need, but this could cost you in terms of dollars spent and food wasted.

Ask your guests to contribute

By far the easiest ways to cut costs is to turn your holiday dinner into a potluck-style affair. This is a no-brainer, but the key here is to ask now. Don’t wait to field the last-minute panic texts of “On the way, need me to bring anything?” You want to reach out to your guests before you do your shopping. This tip is ideal for hosts like me, who would rather be project managers than talented chefs. But if you like to maintain more control in the kitchen, read on.

Outsource the refreshments

If you don’t trust your guests to bring their favorite side dish or dessert, prioritize the booze assignments. Providing plenty of alcohol adds up quickly, so delegating drinks is one of the easiest ways to save money. Plus, as a guest, bringing a bottle of wine or a liter of soda is perhaps the easiest way to help out—especially if you’re inadequate as a cook (like yours truly). A true win-win.

Here’s our full guide to planning a cheap Thanksgiving.

More from Lifehacker

Sign up for Lifehacker's Newsletter. For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.