Let's be honest, for most people, Thanksgiving is all about eating your favorite foods while sitting around a table with your loved ones. But if you've ever hosted Thanksgiving, you know it can be expensive to buy everything needed to make everyone's favorite dishes.
Ensure your guests and wallet give thanks this year with the following tips:
Create Your Own Decorations – Luckily, you don't have to spend too much on decorations to make Thanksgiving special. If it just doesn't feel the same without extravagant décor, try using small gourds, fake leaves or create your own fall-themed decorations.
Shop Smart - Odds are you already have some of the ingredients you need to create an unforgettable meal stored in your pantry, so be sure to look before you head to the grocery store. Create a list of everything you need and stick to it. Check your local newspaper to find coupons or deals to save even more.
Break Out the Fancy China - Plastic silverware and paper plates might make cleanup easier, but they are an unnecessary expense. Plus, Thanksgiving is a great excuse to use the fancy dishes that sit unused most of the year. Have everyone help wash dishes and pack away the leftovers before the tryptophan sets in, and you won't even notice how long cleanup takes!
Make Dinner a Group Effort - Coordinate with your guests so everyone brings at least one dish. This will help save you time, stress and money gathering all the necessary ingredients. Be sure to assign your guests specific types of dishes, including sides, desserts and beverages, otherwise you could end up with five different versions of pumpkin pie (although that might not be such a bad thing).
Get Creative with your Leftovers - Everyone worries about making sure there is enough food, which is why Thanksgiving leftovers are a staple. Unfortunately you'll probably be sick of eating turkey sandwiches after a few days. Try getting creative with your leftovers by creating turkey soup, chili or a casserole.