Gobble till you wobble: Thanksgiving ideas that won’t break the bank

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There are numerous ways to save money during the holiday season. (Dalton Wainscott | Collegian Media Group)

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most prized holidays. It signals the nearness of the Christmas season with another excuse to eat good food, take off work and spend time with people we love. However, with the growing trend of “Friendsgiving” celebrations, along with meet ups with both maternal and paternal sides of the family, the humble holiday can get quite costly.

While a fancy Thanksgiving meal is always nice, Black Friday and weeks of Christmas shopping are just around the corner and college students are already in a bit of a bind in the money department. Here are some ways to experience a full Thanksgiving celebration without breaking the bank.

Divvy up the responsibilities

If you’re the planner in the group, it can be easy to look at what needs to be done to put on a successful dinner and simply do it. However, most of the time everyone wants to chip in, they just need direction. Sit down, make a plan and assign different dishes or festive decoration purchases to each friend or family member. This takes the financial burden off of you, and leaves you spending $10 on a single dish, rather than $100 on an entire meal.

Think outside the box

While the pilgrims of 1621 who celebrated the first thanksgiving went the traditional route in their meal choices, we don’t have to. It’s 2019 and the possibilities are endless. There are so many non-traditional thanksgiving meal ideas that not only save you money, but also have the potential to add a flare to your dinner.

The average Thanksgiving turkey costs around $22. Add the elaborate pies and stuffing’s to that and the cost only steepens. When you consider a themed meal, you can avoid the hefty price of a turkey as the main dish.

Ideas for these alternative meals may include an Italian option, where you can cook up a delicious pasta dish for your main course at around a fraction of the cost. Or, if you’re wanting to go even more modern, American party foods is a fun alternative. Homemade wings and sliders are an entree option that can be made at around half of the price of a turkey.

Switch up the decor

It’s always fun to bring out the elaborate place mats, purchase turkey shaped cookies and put the big cornucopia in the center of the table, but removing them is an easy way to save. Skip the decorations and soak in the people sitting on each side of you. Let good conversation, laughter and delicious desserts take the place of a fancy setting.

Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and making ourselves aware of the good things in our lives. It only seems right to take the cheaper route, not stress about money, and focus on the many non-material things around us worth celebrating.

Anna Schmidt is a sophomore in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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