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With the start of November comes thoughts of Thanksgiving. Despite the festivities, the average American household is said to spend $342 on the holiday which may cause financial anxiety for some, particularly when combined with higher energy costs of the winter season.

The option of borrowing a quick $100 loan may help to ease worries of the holiday. But if savings are more your style, then here we’ve got some tips to help cut the costs of Thanksgiving without compromising the festive fun.

Set a Budget

Firstly, it’s important to establish a clear budget. Figuring out exact costs for food, decorations, and any travel arrangements will ease the mind by coming to terms with your maximum overall spending. A budget will also keep you on course to not overspend which can so-often happen in all the holiday excitement. Make a budget and stick to it.

Book Travel in Advance and Be Flexible

If you’re travelling home over the break, booking flights in advance can save you a lot of money compared to last minute bookings. When it comes to travel, the earlier the booking the better.

However, if you need more time to figure out your plans then being flexible with travel dates might work in your best interest. Surprisingly, Thanksgiving Day is one of the cheapest days to fly. So, if you can try to make use of flexible, money-saving travel times.

Shop Intentionally

When grocery shopping, making a list can be a game changer to help you save money on groceries. First, figure out your menu and which food items you’ll need. Next, take stock of which items you already have at home as this can help reduce unnecessary costs when at the store. Then you should have an exact list of ingredients which stays within your budget to take grocery shopping.

Similarly, when you buy in bulk, the cost per unit is typically much lower. Purchasing some items in bulk will ultimately reduce your long-term grocery costs. Plus, if you don’t want certain items in excess, you can always split the food and the price with friends or family, reducing grocery expenditure for everyone.

Buy Seasonal Produce

Another top tip is to buy produce which is in-season as these are usually much cheaper than those that aren’t. Some fall favorites include cranberries, mushrooms, parsnips, cauliflower, pumpkin, bell peppers, winter squash and green beans to name a few. By altering your menu to suit in-season fruits and vegetables, you’ll be able to save yourself a bit more money this holiday and avoid the need to borrow money to help get you through the Thanksgiving season.

fall weather thanksgiving

The fall, particularly around Thanksgiving time is a great time of year to shop for seasonal produce

Plan The Cooking Process

Equally, a big cost on Thanksgiving can be the energy used on appliances and running the oven. A sure way to reduce this excessive energy consumption is to plan your timings and cook multiple dishes together where possible. When you do this, it ensures the oven isn’t running all day, consequently saving money on your energy bills and cooking Thanksgiving dinner in a more time-effective way.

DIY Decorations

Finally, homemade decorations can help to lower your overall Thanksgiving expenditure by using cheap materials. With lots of online tutorials, crafting your own festive décor can be easy to make, inexpensive, and fun; especially when made into a game or competition.

Also, buying materials from the store might not be necessary with DIY decorations. Have a  look in your cupboards and see just how creative you can get this Thanksgiving.