Did you know that the average American household spends $59 on Thanksgiving dinner and $342 over Thanksgiving weekend?


Many of us spend hundreds of dollars on Thanksgiving food, traveling to visit family, Black Friday shopping, fall décor, and more. It adds up quickly!

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Here are six tips for having a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday on a shoestring budget.

Plan Ahead

Set a plan for what you’re going to spend on Thanksgiving and stick to it.

If you use the cash envelope system for budgeting, set aside a certain amount of cash in your “Thanksgiving” envelope at the beginning of November.

This will help you stick to your budget if you’re tempted to overspend.

Have a Potluck

Cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner isn’t cheap. If you’re on a tight budget, why not suggest having a potluck instead?

If everyone brings one or two dishes, no one has to spend a ton of money. This also creates a lot less work for the host! A potluck saves both time and money.

Limit the Décor or DIY

I LOVE fall décor.  It’s so cute, fun, and festive. But unfortunately, it can also be expensive! To avoid overspending, try buying discounted items, hitting up garage sales or estate sales, or limiting the décor to only a few items that you truly love.

My mom snagged this fall wreath for free at a garage sale!

fall autumn wreath decor cheap

Another budget-friendly idea is to DIY. There are tons of awesome DIY fall décor ideas on Pinterest!  Here’s a roundup of 100 amazing ideas!

Avoid Black Friday 

Don’t have any money to spend? Avoid temptation on Black Friday by skipping it altogether. An extra perk: you’ll miss out on the crowds, insanely long lines, and crazy people fighting each other for the last TV.

It’s a win-win!

If You Shop, Earn Cash Back

If you really want to shop on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, which I personally prefer), try using Ebates to earn up to 40% cash back on your online purchases.

Why not earn some free money just for buying something you were going to buy anyway?!

If you download Ebates with my link, you’ll earn a free $10 welcome bonus when you spend at least $25. How awesome is that?

I’ve earned $74.65 with Ebates and I don’t even do much online shopping at all!


Related: Ebates Review: How to Earn Cash Back for Online Shopping

Be Thankful for What You Have

The purpose of Thanksgiving isn’t to spend a bunch of money you don’t have. It’s to thank God for the many blessings we’ve been given.

If we’re so thankful for what we already have, why do we need more stuff? Instead of buying a ton of overpriced décor or going on a shopping spree on Black Friday, let’s appreciate what we have.

thankful thanksgiving gratitude quote


What are you thankful for this holiday season? How are you saving money on Thanksgiving?