Thanksgiving on a budget
posted on October 06, 2023
As food prices continue to soar in Canada, money is tight for many of us. There's no need to break the bank to feast in style this Thanksgiving! Here's how to throw a Thanksgiving feast on a budget that will feel simply luxurious.
Decorate with care
You don't need to buy any elaborate decorations to adorn your Thanksgiving table. You can choose to just focus on the food with simple table decorations like a tablecloth, or add some pizazz by making your own Thanksgiving centrepieces on a budget. If you're looking for easy and affordable adornment, visit your local dollar store for fall accent pieces like faux leaves, stand alone candles, faux garlands and pumpkins. You’ll only need a few pieces to cobble together an attractive Thanksgiving centrepiece. Get some dollar store Thanksgiving centrepiece inspiration.
Mix festive drinks with your guests' help
Alcohol is always pricey, but on holidays like Thanksgiving, it's usually expected to be served. Ask your guests to bring wine or beer they enjoy as a host gift or create a short-themed cocktail list for your party and ask your guests to contribute the alcohol you'll need to mix their drinks. Guests usually want to bring something to dinner, so this will give them the chance to contribute in an easy and direct way. Need Thanksgiving cocktail inspiration? These Thanksgiving cocktails will knock their socks off.
Focus on vegetables
Vegetables are filling (thanks to their high fibre content) and are usually pretty affordable. Thankfully, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where vegetable dishes shine and can really steal the show. Roasted sweet potatoes? Mashed squash? Candied yams? Blistered brussels sprouts? Creamy mashed potatoes? Silky sweet pumpkin pie? Focus your budget on serving a ton of comfort food, vegetable-filled dishes, and even vegetarian main courses, that will fill guests up. Having a lot of them to serve will help you feed many mouths on a budget, will be more affordable to make than meaty dishes, and will add a sense of indulgent abundance to your table. Turkey can be pretty dry and disappointing anyway! If meat is a must on your Thanksgiving table, consider serving something smaller than a big turkey like a roast chicken.
Fill up on bread and grains
Bread is thankfully still pretty affordable in Canada. It's also easy to serve and enjoyable for guests to fill up on. If you're feeling fancy, consider serving a long artisan baguette in thin slices with butter, chutney and cheese to start the meal, or perhaps slice up a big rustic sourdough boule and serve it with herbed butter. You can also make your own impressive loaf of French bread on a budget, or impress guests without stress by making this no-knead bread.
Grains are another filling option that can be quite low-budget. A simple and sumptuous risotto can fill up and impress a crowd. A hearty quinoa or bulgur salad with roasted vegetables is also delightful as a filling and affordable side dish.
Save room for dessert
Thanksgiving is all about indulgence so don't go totally overboard on the main meal and sides. Be sure to save plenty of room on your table, and in your tummy, for some delicious, budget-friendly desserts. Pumpkin pie is classic and seasonal, but a lot of folks aren't a fan. If that includes you and your guests, opt to serve something you enjoy more, like a few affordable apple desserts, perhaps a cinnamon spiced cake, and cheap chocolate desserts which are pretty much always appreciated. By letting your guests know there will be plenty of sweet treats to end the meal, you can justify serving smaller dinner portions to avoid overeating.
We wish you and your family a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving! We hope these budget-friendly tips will help you feast without the sticker shock this year.