As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the season of indulgence, decadence and blown budgets. This year, enjoy time with your family and friends without the stress of those budgetary woes!

Here are a few tips to enjoy the Thanksgiving festivities on a budget:

1. Plan. Plan. Plan.

If you’re a last minute shopper, an impulse shopper or an over-the-top shopper, take some time to plan out what you need, want and what will just go to waste.

Stick to what’s in season. Exotic ingredients might be fun to cook with and of course they’re fun to eat, but are they really necessary?

If you don’t already grow your own herbs, this may be a great time to start! Fresh herbs aren’t in season during the cooler months, making them pricier. Dried herbs are the way to go if you aren’t interested in starting an herb garden or window box.

2. Include your guests.

Cooking a turkey really isn’t as intimidating as people make it out to be! Find a nice simple recipe (like this one), or ask a friend or family member who’s coming over for the feast to be responsible for the bird!

Another great way to take the spending and labor stress off you and your family is to ask your guests to each bring something to contribute to the meal. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. You don’t have to be the perfect chef and hostess for Thanksgiving. Guests also enjoy being included and involved in the meal. It’s a great way to share recipes, family stories and doesn’t put the weight of the day on a single person.

3. Make it your own.

Families generally have culinary traditions, which is one of the great parts of the holiday. If your great grandmother’s Thanksgiving turkey recipe calls for 25 ingredients, it might be a good plan to trim some of the bells and whistles.

If you’re trying to stick to a budget this November, stray from the extravagant recipes in order to simplify the dish and the financial damage it will do to your family’s wallet.

Also consider keeping it simple when it comes to home décor. A few decorative touches here and there are great, but you don’t have to transform your home from head to toe. Mulling spices are a great way to welcome friends and family into your home. You can prepare some mulled cider that everyone’s sure to enjoy!

Enjoy the company of loved ones and the elegant food you’ve prepared together! The day doesn’t have to be extravagant and expensive to be spectacular.

What are you thankful for? Comment below.

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