Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you planning to get together with friends and family on Thursday? Studies show that 96 percent of American families will gather together for Thanksgiving. Nearly 88 percent of Americans will eat turkey –46 million turkeys to be precise. 28 percent of Americans will host more than 12 people at the dinner table.

When you have a crowd over for dinner, Thanksgiving can get expensive, but not if you have a plan to keep it cost-effective. Here are seven ways you can do Thanksgiving dinner on a budget:

  1. Start with a list – Begin by making a plan. Do a sweep of your pantry first to see if you have any of the ingredients you need. Get your list together for the whole meal and stick to the list.
  2. Frozen and pre-made – When you’re deciding on what you’ll want for dinner, see if you can buy any of the items frozen or pre-made. For example, it’s often cheaper to buy a pie crust than the ingredients for the crust.
  3. Compares prices – Know where the best prices are before you head to the store. Look through flyers from grocery stores to find the best deals. You can also use price-check tools like or to create your shopping list and compare prices at stores in your area.
  4. Keep it traditional – Don’t go crazy with the experiments. Stick to recipes built on staples you already have around the house, so you don’t have to buy too many extra ingredients. The good thing about the traditional Thanksgiving meal is that the ingredients are pretty simple, and you can probably find a lot in your pantry!
  5. Try store brands – This is an easy one. Store brands are just as good as name-brand products but often much cheaper. When you have the option, opt for store brands.
  6. Don’t overdo it – Cook the amount of food you need, not an unnecessary amount. Everyone loves Thanksgiving leftovers, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget, buy and cook for the amount of people you have coming to dinner.
  7. Gather with others – Spread the cooking responsibilities – and costs — by trying a potluck Thanksgiving! You can cook the turkey and ask guests to bring their favorite side. Everyone will get to try something new and contribute to dinner.

Thanksgiving can be enjoyable and affordable with these easy tips. Get your shopping list together and plan ahead to get the best deals.

We hope your Turkey Day is filled with food, fun, and gratitude! 

Get more tips for everyday affordability.