5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

If you’re hosting visitors from abroad this Thanksgiving, you have a special task. It’s your duty to create a memorable experience – especially for those who have never celebrated this American holiday before – without going over your personal budget.

Luckily, striking a balance between authentic and budget-friendly isn’t so hard to do. With a few DIY projects, some delegating, and early planning, you’ll have everything you need to show your visitors what Thanksgiving is all about.


P.S. Not an organizer? Wherever you are, you can join a family for Thanksgiving right here.

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Start stocking up right away

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

Next time you go to the grocery store, keep your eyes peeled for items on offer. This allow you to buy products before they sell out – I visited three stores one year to find a jar of nutmeg – and take advantage of sales throughout the fall.

You never know when random items like pumpkin pie filling or gravy base will be on sale, because these discounts often happen when the store has too much excess and they need to get rid of the extras.

You can also use this trick to load up on items like wild rice and potatoes. Items that are often sold in bulk go on sale more frequently because they come in large shipments.

Prioritize the classics

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

Instead of going overboard with all the newfangled dishes you’ve been pining for since February, stick with the basics. For most people, this includes: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, and pumpkin or apple pie.

This will reduce the amount of money you have to spend on food, while also showcasing the most authentic Thanksgiving food items. It also helps you reduce the likelihood of a cooking disaster because you’re likely not cooking with new foods for the first time.

Prepare conversation starters

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

The best part of Thanksgiving is visiting with friends and family. If you’re hosting guests from out of town, their friends and family will be far away, so it’s your job as the host to keep conversation going with everyone.

Luckily, there are a lot of fun conversation starters that you can use to stoke discussions, while teaching your overseas visitors about the holiday and learning more about their culture at the same time.

Here are a few to try out:

  • History: Did you know the first declaration of Thanksgiving was in 1782?
  • Cooking: How do you cook with turkey in your culture?
  • Leftovers: What is your favorite turkey recipe? You can also share your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • Culture: Ask visitors to share about their favorite holiday growing up.

Go for BYOB

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

Otherwise known as bring your own beer. The fun part about hosting is having a variety of taste preferences at the table. While a turkey dinner has a variety of traditional items already on the menu, you can introduce variety by having guests bring their favorite bottle of wine, cocktail (pre-mixed, or just the ingredients), or beer.

But don’t forget to have someone bring other after-dinner refreshments like tea and coffee, too!

This is not only a fun way to get everyone involved, but takes some of the financial burden off of your shoulders, without asking people to cook something.

Make a festive centerpiece

5 Ways To Host An Authentic Thanksgiving Dinner On A Budget

Teach your visitors a little more about this American holiday with a festive centerpiece. While a few candles are nice, creating something that stands out a little more will make the experience more fun and memorable for everyone.

Luckily, you don’t need phenomenal crafting skills to put together a great centerpiece for very little cost. You could easily paint old wine bottles or create a mini pumpkin patch for less than $10.

See what you have in your house before heading out to buy anything; a little twine, some extra paint, or an old basket could go a long way.

Over to you

Show your visitors what Thanksgiving is all about with a memorable yet budget-friendly feast. Use these ideas to start saving and planning the big day now!