Have a Memorable Thanksgiving without Breaking the Bank (or Your Belt)

Thanksgiving is the perfect start to the holiday season: food, family, friends, shopping, vacation time. But, we all know that Thanksgiving doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Between the cost of putting on a Thanksgiving dinner, over-eating and spending too much on Black Friday, the start of the holiday season can get a bit overwhelming.

If you’re concerned about spending too much or eating too much this holiday season, check out these few tips for enjoying Thanksgiving in moderation.

1. Saving Cash: When it comes to Thanksgiving food, if you’re hosting dinner at your place, you know the price can get pretty steep. And, while you may not host dinner every year, racking up a huge grocery bill at the beginning of the holiday season can put a hurting on your wallet. Planning ahead with coupons, a guest list and a set menu can help save money in the long run. If you plan to host dinner, try to get a solid headcount in early so you know how many guests to expect. Once you have a guest list, plus or minus a few visitors, you can begin to plan a menu. With a menu in mind, you can begin to save up coupons. Most coupons have a pretty long lifespan, so you can store them up gradually until it’s time to shop. You can also shop at stores that offer double or triple coupon discounts to get great deals and help stretch your dollar to the max.

2. Staying Healthy: Thanksgiving is a generally an accepted day of gluttony, but it doesn’t have to be. An average thanksgiving meal can clock in at up to 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat, not including the snacking you do before dinner. That can add up to two days-worth of food. Over-eating on Thanksgiving can put your body in a bad position to ward off the holiday/winter pounds. To help enjoy Thanksgiving in moderation, try setting out smaller plates to help family members stay conscious of how much they’re about to eat. Eat slowly and make good conversation to keep from eating too fast and avoid going back for seconds. There will always be leftovers to have for dinner the next day if you still want more. Many cities also offer short run/walks on Thanksgiving morning that are catered to entire families. Participating in an active event on Thanksgiving Day is a great way to stay healthy.

3. Affordable Décor: Part of the fun of Thanksgiving is the decorations. Not quite as kitschy as Halloween décor, Thanksgiving-themed decorations are a fun way to get in the spirit of giving thanks and enjoying a great meal around the table. But, sometimes the cost of these decorations can really add up. To save a little cash on festive décor, try shopping after the seasons ends to score amazing deals and then set your purchases aside until next year. You can also encourage kids to create decorations or do a family-wide arts and crafts session, and have your own homemade décor or place mats for the dinner table.

With these few tips, you’ll be in a great position to enjoy Thanksgiving without burning a hole in your wallet or gaining those pesky few pounds. You’ll find that the holidays are a lot more fun when enjoyed in moderation of cost and calories.

[About the author: Nan is a fitness expert and marketer who loves traveling the world to advise at sporting events. When she’s stateside, she enjoys spending time volunteering at environmental organizations and spending time with her lab mix, Cody.]

Image: martha_chapa95 at Flickr

One thought on “Have a Memorable Thanksgiving without Breaking the Bank (or Your Belt)

  • November 9, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for the great tips! Everything in moderation is no-fail advice for just about anything!


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