7 ways to have an easy, cheap and maybe even unique Thanksgiving dinner

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Tired of the same ol’ same ol’ for Turkey Day? We’ve got the antidote for you…

Here are 7 ways to make Thanksgiving memorable and cheap this year!

”¢ Start scouring around now for sales, and use your coupons! Many Thanksgiving items can be bought ahead of time: cranberries (fresh berries, which you will use to make your own sauce, or the canned variety many of us know and love), pre-made rolls, even the turkey, provided you get it frozen.

”¢ Rein yourself in. You don’t need to make every variety of pie under the sun or five different types of stuffing. Figure out your guest list and choose your dishes—selection and quantity—accordingly.

Ӣ Ask for help. Most people would like to bring something to the table aside from their appetite, good personality and charm. Take them up on their offer! Sure, it can be hard to relinquish control if you are used to running the show, but think about it: Is it more important that you work yourself into exhaustion and deplete your bank account making the entire meal or that you spend time around the table with those you love? (And no snarky comments about not loving everyone around the table.)

Read more: Wish big and save big on eBay holiday deals!

”¢ Make it a “dry” dinner. I can hear the barking already at this suggestion, but alcohol—even beer and wine—adds a lot of girth to the Thanksgiving dinner grocery bill. Perhaps instead of serving alcohol, serve sparkling cider or a festive punch.

”¢ Think outside the turkey. If your family will go for it, how about turkey burgers instead of turkey, sweet potato fries instead of mashed potatoes and root beer floats with pumpkin ice cream instead of pumpkin pie? A meal of a “burger, fries and a float”—with a Thanksgiving twist—keeps it simple, which keeps it cheap. This dinner has a theme to it, yet it is complete without any need for a stuffing, green bean casserole or cranberry salad in the mix.

”¢ Forage the forest (or a nearby park or nature trail) for decorations. A few pinecones, some sticks, willow branches, fall colored leaves and, voilà, your Thanksgiving table is decorated. Add a few taper candles—easily found at your local dollar store—and you’ve just upped the ante.

”¢ Or just fake it. Your local dollar store as well as craft stores such as Michaels and Jo-Ann stores—which often offer discount coupons—are great places for faux fall foliage. (I dare you to say that five times quickly!) Dollar stores are also great for festive napkins, plates and cups.

Read more: Get a head start on your holiday shopping as retailers roll out more deals


Want more money-saving advice? See our Deals section.

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