Friends having dinner together on friends-giving
Friends having dinner together on friends-giving

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How To Do Friendsgiving and Still Save Money

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, which can be a stressful time of year, especially when you’re on a tight budget. There are presents, parties, and dinners. How can you enjoy them all and still save money? One tradition that allows you to spread holiday cheer without ruining your budget is Friendsgiving. Have you been to one?

Friendsgiving occurs before or on Thanksgiving to allow friends to celebrate the holiday with a traditional potluck holiday feast. It can come before your family Thanksgiving, or it can replace it when you can’t get home to loved ones.

Here’s how to enjoy your Friendsgiving celebration while still saving money:

Leave the Hosting Honors to a Friend

Even if the dinner is a potluck, assuming hosting duties usually results in an added cost. If a friend offers to host, take them up on their generosity and volunteer to help with preparation and clean up. Keep in mind that there will be future opportunities to return the favor when your budget isn’t as tight.

Plan Ahead

Prepare a menu beforehand and have everyone sign up for all the Thanksgiving staples. A shared Google document makes it easy to keep track of what everyone is bringing and the dishes that have not been claimed. This will save you from a last-minute scramble for sides because too many people signed up for desserts.

Have a Backup Plan

If someone drops out last-minute or if some essentials aren’t accounted for, email or text the attendees to come up with a plan to cover the missing items. Someone may have to change what they are making or bring multiple dishes as a result.

Embrace Budget-Friendly Sides

Many Thanksgiving staples are already budget-friendly, even for a large crowd. Economical and tasty sides include mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cornbread muffins, and cranberry sauce. Look for coupons before going grocery shopping, and see if you can substitute ingredients with what you already have in your pantry. If you have leftover ingredients, look for recipes that include them so they won’t go to waste.

Be Thrifty and Crafty

If you’re on decoration duty, there are many seasonal decorations that won’t break the bank, and some can even be free thanks to Mother Nature.  For an economical DIY centerpiece, fill a glass vase with mini pumpkins, leaves, and pinecones.

Don’t Forget Your Doggy Bag

Potluck celebrations typically result in a lot of leftovers. Since you all pitched in on prepping the meal, you can all take home a bit of leftovers. That’s saves you money on Friday’s dinner or Monday’s lunch at work or school.

Saving money might come with some sacrifice but it doesn’t have to interrupt your lifestyle. What are some tips that get you through the holiday season without breaking the bank? Share them with the whole Charter College community. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!