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- Inflation continues to eat away at everyone’s finances, and Thanksgiving can easily cost you money.
- But before you go, consider hosting a Friendsgiving potluck or get dim sum.
- You can also plan an elaborate dinner party with your neighbors where each house is located.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I like being up, lazy, and being with my friends and family. There is nothing better than watching the Westminster Dog Show and wondering which dog will win this year. If I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve probably started prepping a few days before.
This year I don’t want to cook. And, like many people, I’m trying to figure out the best way to have the best vacation experience without interruptions.
According to Butterball’s 2022 Thanksgiving Outlook, enthusiasm for hosting a special Thanksgiving celebration is on the rise. However, many hosts are concerned about the effect of inflation on the cost of hosting a dinner party.
For those of you who like to think outside the box and want to try something new, I have three different ideas to consider before you say yes to an expensive holiday dinner this year.
1. Go to dim sum
I love to cook and I’m usually excited to cook Thanksgiving dinner. But, a few years ago, I just didn’t have the energy to entertain or cook.
I’m a big fan of dim sum and I heard that dim sum restaurants are usually open on Thanksgiving Day so I decided to take my mom out for dim sum that year.
It was an incredible experience that I would definitely do again. The restaurant is packed and for smaller families, groups or singles, you can sit with other families.
Mom ate dim sum for the first time and she loved it. We ate dumplings, ribs, broccoli, scallion pancakes, and egg tarts. Besides spending a stress-free day with my mom, the best part of this meal was the unique experience we were able to share.
And the best part? Food is very cheap. I don’t think we paid more than $40 for everything, including tip.
2. Have a potluck with friends
One of the best things about celebrating the holidays is having time to spend with friends and family. Potlucks with friends are a great way to host a festive event without breaking the bank.
Randomly give each guest something to bring to the table. The host could also set a nice theme. Instead of the dinner on Thanksgiving Day, it is also possible to host a few weeks before or after the end of Thanksgiving.
Changing the date may help lower the prices of some of the more common items that are cooked during the holiday season. Turkeys purchased after Thanksgiving can often be had at a great price. Other cooking items, such as spices and side dishes, can be purchased at a discount.
3. Plan an elaborate dinner party
This is one of my favorite creative dinner ideas. Advanced dinner parties are offered at various homes throughout your town or city. The dinner hosts are given special food and drinks for each house along the way, and then a group visits each house in each “course”.
One important thing to consider before hosting an elaborate dinner party is how to transport your guests from one house to the next, especially if you’re serving cocktails or other alcoholic beverages.
Bonus savings tips
If you want to host a traditional Thanksgiving meal, here are some tips to keep your costs down.
Eliminate the foods or side dishes that you don’t like the most. Hosts often make dishes for guests that they may not particularly like. This year, just say no to foods you’re not interested in cooking or eating.
Instead of hosting everyone, host fewer guests than usual. Reducing the number of guests will also help you avoid canceling the dish with financial need, a strategy that the Butterball Outlook Report notes that many guests consider doing.
No one wants to work on Thanksgiving, but it’s the perfect time spend a few hours working on a food delivery app. Cooks will be busy and need someone to pick up items they may have forgotten while at the grocery store. You can be the person who helps save someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner while you earn money and save your own food for the holiday.
A traditional Thanksgiving meal doesn’t have to break the bank. Enjoy rethinking what your next Thanksgiving meal will look like. As for me, I might go out and take home dim sum again.