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Host Thanksgiving on a $50 budget

Posted November 5, 2020  |   Topics: Community, Pocket Change, Education

Thanksgiving Dinner for $50?!

If this seems crazy, you may be surprised to learn a typical Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people in 2019 was just shy of $49.* The beauty of this meal is that while it seems rich and extravagant, the ingredients are simple, hearty, and easily feed a crowd.

If the task of hosting falls to you this year, sticking to the menu below will keep your budget on track.  

Veggie tray

Give your guests something to munch on while the turkey is roasting. Simple carrots, celery, and dip will do the trick. If you would like to upgrade to a fancy relish tray or charcuterie board, ask guests to contribute their favorite dip, cheese, or cured meat.


Turkey & stuffing

Bigger is not always better. A 16-pound turkey is more than enough for 10 people. There may not be many leftovers, but your guests will leave full and tired (hello tryptophan). Purchase day-old bread from your local bakery for the stuffing to save a few pennies.


Fresh cranberries

You can’t have turkey without cranberries! Skip the canned jelly product and spring for the fresh berries. The best part is, you can make this dish ahead of time.


Sweet potato casserole

Potatoes are one of those hearty foods that can be purchased in bulk and go a long way. Don’t skimp on the marshmallows and pecans. Here’s another dish you can make the day before Thanksgiving.


Green bean casserole

This classic dish is the ultimate comfort food. Stick with canned green beans to maintain the traditional texture and stay within budget. Sprinkle on a few French-fried onions for that satisfying crunch.


Dinner rolls

Rolls are both cheap and filling. Homemade is definitely the way to go on this item. Not only will you save a few dollars, but the quality will be much better.  


Pumpkin pie & whipped cream

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin pie. If you love baking, you can’t go wrong with a homemade crust. However, pre-made pie dough is a lot easier and not too expensive. You may only be saving about $1 if you opt for homemade. Surprisingly, canned whipped cream is half the price as homemade. Save yourself the hassle and dollars for this dessert.


Share the load

Hosting is a lot of work but you have full permission to delegate! Maybe your aunt loves to bake her famous pumpkin pie every year. Great! Maybe your brother makes the absolute best sweet potatoes on earth. Fantastic! Maybe your friend can’t cook to save her life. Perfect, she can bring drinks. Asking guests to contribute will make them feel included and make the holiday more meaningful. Not to mention easing your budget and nerves.


Thanks Giveaway

While a $50 Thanksgiving dinner may seem “manageable” for some, other families still find it a struggle. LMCU understands this and is giving back with our Thanks Giveaway. We are giving away two Thanksgiving dinners in the form of a $50 Visa gift-card. In addition, we are also giving away two Thanksgiving dinners to two nominated families. Submit your favorite Thanksgiving dish as well as your nominated family or individual to enter.

*American Farm Bureau Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Survey

Topics: Community, Pocket Change, Education