Hooray for a season of gratitude! As we gather around the table together, we realize we have so much to be grateful for this year. However. if we’re not careful we fall into traps of overspending at this time of the year. As you do your turkey day shopping, avoid these Thanksgiving budget busters to make the most of the special day!
Avoid Overspending on Paper Goods
Oh those cute little turkey napkins and plates and bowls and paper towels and table cloths and place cards. Honestly, I’m almost a little surprised there isn’t turkey toilet paper, too. Perched on the end cap calling you with their seasonable adorability, this area of your holiday celebration can be a Thanksgiving budget buster and money suck. If you just have to have something decorative, choose a cute napkin and plain plates (or go for a more formal holiday with all items you already own). As for place cards, napkin rings, and even place mats, crack out the construction paper and let the kids make the decorations (or even do it yourself, it might be fun!). Remember, any paper goods you purchase will head straight for the trash can and if you have leftovers, you really won’t be interested in turkeys and pumpkins come December 1st.
Avoid the Side Dish Trap
Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Noodles, Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, Fresh Cut Veggies and Dip, Glazed Carrots, Cranberry Sauce, Pumpkin Pie, Deviled Eggs, Broccoli Cheese Casserole, Corn, Jello Salad, and MORE. Determining a Thanksgiving Menu plan is so difficult because there is oh-so-much to choose from. Even when you do determine the dishes you’ll be having, hitting the grocery store is still difficult because you remember how many other things you wish you were fixing. Tough Love: You shouldn’t be eating or buying all of those foods. If you are dining with extended family, have everyone bring a side. If you are just feeding in on your immediately family, focus in on one side dish each family member loves. Don’t bite off more than you can chew financially or physically.
Avoid Running Out for “One Last Thing”
Thanksgiving is the perfect time of the year to ordain yourself a List Commander. If at all possible, purchase your goods DAYS before you plan on cooking. You’ll want to give items like your turkey plenty of time to dethaw. Plus, you do not want to be out in the hot mess that is last minute Thanksgiving shoppers. As the days draw nearer, the crowds grow thicker. Running out at the last minute will up your stress but more than likely cause more impulse buys, too. Holiday items are marketed front and center to grab your attention and dollars from your bank account. The odds are you’ll also be more likely to visit a higher priced grocery or convenience store (due to hours) and end up paying more and buying more, too.
Avoid Buying a Card Table
Today is the perfect day to begin shaking down your social media network channels for friends and family members who own a card table and extra chairs that they will not be using this Thanksgiving. You have a few lead days to ask around before hitting the stores. If you wait until the last minute, others will have likely made travel plans and be gone or might have loaned their items to someone else. Ask around so you don’t have to overpay on Wednesday evening.
Avoid Dining Out or Pizza Delivery on Wednesday
I once read that Pizza Deliveries are the highest on the night before Thanksgiving. Build Wednesday evening’s meal plan into your Thanksgiving Meal plan. Buy a deli pizza from the grocery store and throw it in the oven while you chop foods. Or make sandwiches with chips. Keep it simple and if at all possible light. Just don’t let that Wednesday evening meal sneak up on you as you prepare for the big day and save the room in your tummy for the big feast.
As you should every week, shopping with cash guarantees you’ll come in on budget. Being intentional about staying focused while in the grocery store is essential, too. If you go because you’re in the “holiday spirit,” you’re certain to overspend. This time of the year, shopping is a sport not a hobby if you want to stay on track financially. Have a great week of preparing for Thanksgiving!
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