Thanksgiving on a Budget


The cost of Thanksgiving, just as all other American holidays, continues to rise. According to a study by LendEDU, the average American spent $175.65 on Thanksgiving last year. While that may not seem like much, it can be hard to swing for some families after figuring in other monthly expenses. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year and are concerned about your budget, TLC is here to help! 

How to Host Thanksgiving on a Budget: 

If Possible, Make it a Potluck

Having every guest pitch in and bring something, even if it’s small, can drastically cut costs. Most friends and family don’t mind contributing and taking the stress off the host as much as they can. This is also a way to make the meal more unique, as everyone has different signature and special dishes that you would have otherwise not thought of. If you do go with the potluck dinner, make sure to delegate accordingly and eliminate similar dishes. Often times, the food just piles up on each other and the meal becomes too large and overwhelming to even enjoy. In addition, becoming short on refrigerator space and adding to the chaos of cleanup afterward are two things that can up your stress levels and detract from your experience.


Plan the Menu

Even if you are having a potluck, this can still be a beneficial step. Make a plan to delegate specific dishes to those that may not know what to bring, and to ensure there’s no overlapping. If you’re making everything yourself, this is even more important. Research recipes that will be easy to make, can be prepared ahead of time, and have common ingredients. If you can make things ahead of time and freeze them, you won’t have to worry about buying and preparing everything all at once. Many casseroles, pies, and hors d’oeuvres are perfectly suited for making and freezing ahead of time.


Start Shopping Early and Keep an Eye Out for Coupons and Promotions

You can never start shopping for the holidays too early. Obviously you don’t want to buy any produce months ahead of time, but picking up any shelf-stable products when you see them on sale is very beneficial. Canned items such as cranberry sauce, broths, and pumpkin purée are all things that can be bought long in advance. Any ingredient that is freezable or non-perishable presents an opportunity to save money. Getting closer to Thanksgiving, many stores start running promotions. Keep an eye out for flyers at your local grocery store, coupons in the paper, online, or even consider downloading a store aggregate flyer app. Be sure to keep track of what you’re buying to ensure you’re not duplicating purchases.


Use What You Have 

This is true for both ingredients and decor. Thoroughly check your cabinets and freezer for any ingredients you need. You don’t want to spend extra money for something you already had hiding in your pantry. Decorations can be very expensive when trying to achieve the perfect look. Before turning to the store, see if you have anything usable from previous years or items that just need a little TLC. Pinterest and other home decorating blogs present thousands of ideas on how to decorate with DIY’s. Even if you have to buy materials from the craft store, that’s still a much cheaper alternative than brand new items. Another option would be using natural materials from the environment around you. Consider using real leaves and pinecones to make arrangements and table decorations. When it comes to decorations, less is more. Too many decorations can make the place feel cluttered and overwhelming. 


Personal Loans from TLC 

If you feel like you’ll still be trying to make ends meet this Thanksgiving, consider a personal loan from TLC. Applying for a personal loan couldn’t be easier with TLC. All you need is your: 

  • Social Security Number
  • Address and phone number
  • Income and banking information


The approval process should be quick and easy. Once we receive your application, our customer service representatives will contact you to verify your income and employment, you will sign your loan agreement electronically, and be all set to receive your funds. It’s even possible to get next day funds if your application is submitted by 1PM CST. We take pride in providing fast, friendly and compassionate service, so don’t hesitate to apply! All applications will be considered.


Don’t stress about your finances this Thanksgiving. Get started on your application, or contact us for assistance!