1. I’m gonna be honest here – I don’t really like turkey (gasp)! So I often have pork roast or ham for Thanksgiving, which I purchased on sale previously and popped in the freezer. We still have a great family meal, but it costs us a lot less…

  2. We tend to be the couple hosting. Turkeys at least quite cheap, most of the grocery stores around here literally give one away when you spend 100 dollars on other groceries. Group the bill if you have to and away you go.

    The fixings are usually cheaper off season. A little late for that but for next year by the gravy, stuffing, and other long expiry date items early.

  3. I love this, Penny!

    We lurveeee some taco dip in our family, and it would be perfect. For Christmas, we actually always do a big slew of appetizers for our extended family gathering. It takes the pressure off the host to have a picture-perfect meal, distributes the responsibility to contribute and is always delish. I used to mooch off my mom’s famous broccoli salad, but am officially married and have to bring my own dish this year. Taco dip sounds right up my alley…

  4. Aldi for the win this Thanksgiving! To make my grandma’s famous dressing, I’m going to Aldi for their $.95 stalk of celery, $.95 loaf of white bread, $1.15 container of chicken broth, darn cheap butter, and maybe darn cheap cornbread mix (not sure if they have that; haven’t looked). Then I’ll casserole it up for some post-turkey leftovers. Brownies from a box are a great idea; I’ll probably adopt that. Thanks!

    I agree with you–it’s all about frugal alternatives for the stuff we already eat. Since we’ll be at the beach, I’m definitely bringing all the ingredients from Aldi with me, because the beach grocery store is about 70% more expensive on average! It’s ridiculous.

    As for clothing, well, I apparently dress so badly my grandmother once loaned me her Christmas sweater for the holiday photo. So I guess that’s not really a problem, because I can always raid Granny’s closet for free. 🙂

  5. I love this! We host every year and I totally start stocking up on some ingredients a couple of months in advance to even out the budget. We also hand make most of our decorations which saves money and keeps the kids occupied while the grown ups clean and cook.

  6. Growing up I always had potluck Thanksgiving and it was awesome. There was so much food to choose from, and no one spent an arm and a leg to do dinner. My granny always hosted and she did the turkey, but that was it; everyone else brought sides and desserts. Worked like a charm, and everyone went home with leftovers!

    • Honestly! And I keep looking at all the holiday baby clothes, and I honestly don’t think they could make them more uncomfortable. Elastic waistbands for everyone!

  7. We make two huge Thanksgiving dinners; one to take to the local hospice house, and the one we host, so I’ve learned a few tricks, too. Aldi is usually the best place for things like canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, etc. We’re fortunate enough to live and work near several different grocery stores, so I buy the weekly loss leaders from each one, starting about three to four weeks before Thanksgiving.

    I love your idea of not necessarily bringing food if you’ve been told not to bring anything, but still feel like you can’t arrive empty-handed. I may borrow the fresh herbs idea. One thing, I’d add, though, is to make sure any plants you bring are pet safe if the host has pets. We have cats, and I always end up getting rid of any poinsettias people bring us. No one wants a holiday trip to the emergency vet.

  8. My Mom brings a whole ham to Thanksgiving too! Haha! We have a big family Thanksgiving at my brother & sister-in-law’s house and I think my Mom brings it cus my Dad dislikes turkey. Yeah, that last part is weird.

    I keep my holiday frugal by signing up to bring something I’m good at making…cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, or salad. I concentrate on making one dish (in bulk). The ingredients for these are all inexpensive.

    Additionally, there is no new clothing here!

    • I love your point about making sure you’re good at making it! DIY gets me so many times because of that. Just because other people (OK, fine, Pinterest!) can make it, doesn’t mean that I can. Trial and error can be costly!

    • This is so funny to me! My MIL insists that it’s the brand I use. Nope! At least I don’t think so. I buy whatever is on sale – Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, or even Aldi! I think the trick is how I make them. About 5 minutes before they are done, I take a piece of foil as big as my brownie pan and I cut the center out. I set it on top. That way, the edges don’t get too done and the middle cooks more. I also take them out when they’re still a teeny bit soft (clean toothpick but definitely gooey). My MIL just leaves hers in too long!

      Also, LOL that I have this much to say about a box mix 😀 But I do love chocolate!

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