Being a foodie on a budget is hard at any time of the year. But when it comes to hosting the big holidays, it can be challenging to satiate your taste buds without breaking the bank. You want to create an impressive menu of gastronomic delights, but you don’t have a Michelin-star restaurant’s budget.
Is it time to throw in the towel and hand off hosting duties to someone else? Not quite!
You can plan a foodie-approved Thanksgiving dinner if you follow this list. Below are some money management tips to help you stretch your food budget.
Keep it Simple, Elevated
According to the Indiana Farm Bureau, the average turkey dinner for ten cost Hoosiers $53.58 last year, or roughly $5.50 per person. This includes all the traditional dishes you expect on Thanksgiving: a 16-pound turkey, pumpkin pie, whipping cream, cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, stuffing, peas, milk, and coffee.
While more elaborate Thanksgiving meals exist, this simple menu has all the fixings of a hearty feast. Your guests will not go home disappointed, especially if you elevate the basics with the right seasonings and techniques.
Focus on Your Budget
Spending $50 can be a challenge for those still recovering from the pandemic. If the past couple of years has put your finances to the test, sitting down with your budget can help you determine if a simple menu is within your abilities.
If you’re just shy of what you need, consider the following options to help save:
- Edit Your Guest List: Remember the menu from the Indiana Farm Bureau is for ten people. Inviting fewer people could help you reduce how much food you need, so don’t extend invitations to a family who lives out of Indiana.
- Cut Frills: Most people have a few unnecessary frill purchases in their monthly budget. Putting these on hold may free up cash for your feast.
Don’t Use Credit
Let’s admit it — budgeting can take a lot of time and effort. You’re busy enough as it is worrying about Thanksgiving, so it might be tempting to put it all on credit and deal with it later.
But with Christmas and New Year quickly approaching, you don’t have a lot of time before you’re in the middle of the biggest spending season of the year! Wracking up debt now can put you in a tight spot later.
As a general rule, you should never use a credit card if you don’t know how you’ll pay down your balance. That’s because carrying over a balance accrues interest and fees, which can add a lot more debt to your account. It also eats up your available limit, leaving less room for other purchases.
As for a line of credit, this option is a safety net when disaster strikes. You may consider a personal credit line in Indiana if your furnace stops working right before a cold snap and you don’t have the savings to call out for a technician.
Going without heat is an emergency that might be worthy of an Indiana line of credit. Not being able to host Thanksgiving dinner, on the other hand, is not an emergency. You can share hosting duties or limit your menu to cut down on your costs instead.
As a foodie, splurging on gourmet ingredients and costly accessories is all too easy. But you don’t have to overspend to serve a delicious meal. Remember these tips to be the host with the most without breaking the bank.