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Herb Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey

This holiday season as Americans carefully consider how to make the most of every dollar, many are putting their Thanksgiving menu on a budget.

The average Thanksgiving meal in 2009 cost $4.29 per person according to the American Farm Bureau. Multiply $4.29 by the number of guests who will join you to find out how much you can expect to spend.

Here are a few simple tips to help you save money and still have a delicious Thanksgiving celebration.

Only include the dishes your guests truly enjoy on the menu.

Ask guests to bring a batch of their favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipe

Choose quick and easy recipes for your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. 

  • The fewer ingredients a recipe has, the less expensive it is to prepare and the healthier it tends to be.
  • Have a dessert party instead of a meal. Each guest could contribute a batch of their favorite pie recipe, cookie recipe, or cake recipe.
  • Find recipes to use your Thanksgiving leftovers. Plan to serve them later in the week.
  • Prepare foods from scratch (rolls, breadcrumbs, pie crust, etc.) instead of buying convenience items.
  • Know what is already in your pantry and make use of it. For example, if you already have wild rice and walnuts, consider serving Wild Rice Stuffing.
  • Scour grocery store ads to take advantage of the sales and incentives offered that match your menu.
  • A frozen, store-brand turkey is usually the least expensive choice.
  • By planning ahead and inviting your guests to contribute to the menu, you can enjoy a budget-friendly Thanksgiving celebration.