Hungry stomachs, empty wallets: Hosting Thanksgiving, on a budget

Asking a friend to bring the pie could save you money this Thanksgiving (Archive Photo | Collegian Media Group)

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner has gone down for the third year in a row. For ten people, the cost of traditional items levels out to around $50.

Despite this, it can still be a hassle to keep costs down during the holiday season. For college students, a lower price for a Thanksgiving dinner might still be too high.

The following tips can help you ensure you aren’t spending a fortune on Thanksgiving dinner — and hopefully you will have enough left over for holiday shopping.

First, make a list. This might sound too simple to be effective, but making a list can help you when shopping in a store with flashy advertisements and hundreds of deals. It will also help you stay organized. Keep the list short and only include what you need.

When you’re out actually doing your shopping, stick to the list to keep yourself from impulse buying. If you find you have extra money to spend, use it at the end. You can also substitute foods. If you aren’t hung up on fancy turkey dressing or the finest desserts, try making something cheaper.

Second, don’t be a hero — ask for help! If you are having dinner with friends or family, see if they will bring something. The less you have to prepare, the less you’re spending and the more variety you will have at the dinner table. If you’d rather be in charge of the cooking, you can ask for everyone to pitch in on the budget.

Finally, don’t be afraid to cook from scratch. It’s typically cheaper to pick out your own ingredients, and you can put your own unique twist on the dishes you’re making.

Having a cheaper Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a hassle, and it doesn’t mean it won’t taste as good. It will leave you with a bigger budget for holiday shopping or rent.

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.