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- Inflation is always eating away at everyone’s money, and Thanksgiving could easily cost a fortune.
- But before you go broke, consider hosting a Friendsgiving potluck or getting dim sum instead.
- You can also plan a progressive dinner with your neighbors where each house hosts a course.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love waking up, lazing around and spending time with my friends and family. There’s nothing better than watching the Westminster Dog Show and wondering which dog is going to win this year. If I’m making Thanksgiving dinner, chances are I’ve already started making preparations a few days before.
This year, I don’t feel like cooking. And, like many people, I try to find the best way to have the best vacation experience without breaking the bank.
According to Butterball’s 2022 Thanksgiving Outlook Report, there’s increased enthusiasm for hosting in-person Thanksgiving celebrations. However, many hosts are concerned about the impact of inflation on the cost of dinner accommodation.
For those of you who like to think outside the box and would like to try something new, I have three different ideas to consider before saying yes to an expensive holiday dinner this year.
1. Go out for dim sum
I love to cook and I’m usually quite happy to cook Thanksgiving dinner. But, a few years ago, I just didn’t have the energy to host guests or cook.
I’m a huge dim sum fan and had heard that dim sum restaurants were often open on Thanksgiving Day, so I decided to take my mom for dim sum that year.
It was an amazing experience that I will definitely do again. The restaurant was packed and for small families, groups of friends or singles you could sit at the same table with other families.
It was my mother’s first time eating dim sum and she loved it. We gorged on dumplings, ribs, broccoli, scallion pancakes and egg tarts. Besides having a stress free day with my mom, the best part about this meal was that it was a unique experience that we got to share with each other.
And the best part? The meal was incredibly inexpensive. I think we paid no more than $40 for everything including tip.
2. Host a potluck with friends
One of the best things about celebrating the holidays is having the chance to spend time with friends and family. Potlucks with friends are a great way to organize a festive event without breaking the bank.
Randomly assign each guest an item to bring to the meal. The host can also set a fun theme. Instead of having dinner on Thanksgiving Day, it could also be held a few weeks before or after Thanksgiving weekend.
Changing the date could help reduce the cost of some of the traditional meals cooked during the holiday season. Turkeys purchased after Thanksgiving are usually available at a greatly reduced price. Other kitchen items, such as spices and side dishes, can also be purchased at a discount.
3. Plan a progressive dinner
This is one of my favorite creative dinner ideas. Progressive dinners are held at different houses in your neighborhood or town. Progressive Dinner hosts are assigned a specific food and drink for each house along the course, then a group visits each house for each “course”.
One thing that’s important to consider before hosting a progressive dinner party is how to transport your guests safely from house to house, especially if you’re serving cocktails or other alcoholic beverages.
Some Bonus Savings Tips
If you prefer to host a traditional Thanksgiving meal, here are some additional tips to keep your costs down.
Eliminate the appetizers or sides that you don’t like the most. Hosts often prepare dishes for their guests that they may not personally like. This year, just say no to dishes you have no interest in cooking or eating.
Instead of hosting everyone, host a smaller number of guests than you normally would. Reducing the number of guests will also help you avoid eliminating dishes out of financial necessity, a strategy the Butterball Outlook report noted many guests consider doing.
Nobody wants to work on Thanksgiving, but it might be the perfect time to take few hours work for food delivery app. Cooks will be stressed and need someone to pick up items they may have forgotten while grocery shopping. You could be the person to help save someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner while earning money and saving your own holiday meal.
Your traditional Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have to stress you financially. Have fun reimagining what your next Thanksgiving meal will look like. As for me, I will probably still go out for dim sum.
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