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6 Thanksgiving Day Mistakes That Will Cost You Money

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Hey, Home Adventurers, let's talk about 6 Thanksgiving Day Mistakes that will cost you money, shall we?

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite time of the year. I love Thanksgiving Day for many reasons, and one of them is because, to me, it means family.

Pandemic has changed the way many of us live and have shifted us in some way or form. Think about it. More stores are closed during Thanksgiving day than before. Remember three years ago. The biggest shopping day will start on that date.

I love Thanksgiving because of the memories, the family, and the start of the holiday season.

Since I wanted to make sure every one of you enjoys their holidays without stressing about their finances, I wanted to share some of my best tips to help you save money and enjoy Thanksgiving Day!

Below are some of the most popular mistakes we seem to make that cost us tons of money.

These mistakes can negatively affect us because many people simply dread this day and don't enjoy their Thanksgiving Day because they are so worried about their finances.

It's the truth; our finances affect us personally. You and I know this, so why not do something about it?

family getting ready for thanksgiving dinner

Not having a plan at all

We seem to be a busy society, and sometimes we love to do things at the last minute. Not having a plan leads to us overspending by overpaying for things. Doing things last minutes can make sure to make mistakes that can also cost us more money.

We don't take the time to sit and plan how we will be spending our Thanksgiving Day. And honestly, it only takes about thirty minutes per day to do so. So, of course, it all depends on what your plans are for your day.

Take a minute and sit down with your family and ask about Thanksgiving.

What are we doing this Thanksgiving? What is the plan?

Are you traveling or staying home?

Remember that millions of Americans will be traveling as well. So many will be flying, taking on the roads, and using the rails.

You need to make sure that you start planning right away because you will be paying a lot of money without a plan and waiting last minute.

Check out these Fall posts:

If you are planning on traveling this Thanksgiving, here are some tips to help you save money on your journey:

  • Get your car road-ready – Take the time to make sure you are taking care of your vehicle by checking the oil and giving it a tune-up. Always make sure your tires are safe and ready to hit the road.
  • Drive at night – One thing we learned is that traveling at night is better for us. The kids are tired and sleepy, and the roads are clear. Remember to rest and stop when you are tired.
  • Remember we are hitting high numbers of the Pandemic – Like it or not, we are still dealing with a pandemic. Facts are facts, hence why I love budgeting, the numbers don't lie. Know about the latest regulation and guideline and stay safe.

If you are not planning on traveling, then what other things are you going to do?

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your home, or are you going to a family member's house for Thanksgiving?

Start making your plans early on how you will be spending your Thanksgiving and write them down.

Not planning your Thanksgiving Day

Communication is essential when it comes to holiday gatherings. For example, early planning will eliminate confusion and overspending if you plan not to travel long distances and have Thanksgiving dinner at your home or family's home.

If you are hosting, plan with your guests and see what they would like to bring; this will save you money on your food cost. Then, decide between all of you what to bring and what not to bring for dinner. By doing this, it will help everyone save money.

Other ways to save money:

  • Use a menu plan. – If you are going to make Thanksgiving dinner, you need a menu plan to help you save money.
  • Shop the sales as early as possible. – You can start grabbing awesome deals on food as early as October.
  • Buy in bulk. – If you are hosting, hit Sam’s Club and save up by buying in bulk.
  • Use coupons. – Again, take advantage of coupons that will help you save money; you can save even more when you use them with a sale.
  • Take advantage of rebate apps. – Rebates apps like Checkout51, Ibotta, Shopkick, Fetch Rewards (use code DK24W to earn 2,000 points) and such will give you cashback on selected items.
failed cooking in kitchen

Hosting your Thanksgiving Day dinner at the same place every year

To help you save money this Thanksgiving Day, instead of hosting dinner this year again at your home, why not let someone else host this family event. Having someone else host Thanksgiving Day dinner will help you save money, but most importantly, it's a different place and different scenery for everyone else.

A different location to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner will help you have a less stressful day and be a guest for once too!

You don't have to clean your home and organize to host Thanksgiving Day dinner or have to get up early to start dinner. In addition, food costs will be minimal because you don't have to invest in a large grocery for dinner.

Seriously, just enjoy being a guest and bring a dish!

Try to do everything yourself

This is a mistake that I think many of us are guilty of, trying to do everything yourself. Instead of enjoying the day and the company, we are so busy figuring out how to get everything done for that special dinner.

We want to impress and make sure everything is perfect; this leads to overspending because we are not focusing on what is essential. Why are we trying to impress our guests? Why are we not being grateful for the help offered? Why are you not enjoying this fantastic day?

You don't have to do it all. Accept the help and the offers of help from your guests and simply make sure that everyone has a beautiful time and start making memories.

The best time is when we are cleaning up in the kitchen and just chatting up a storm. We love it!

family celebrating thanksgiving

Not setting a budget

You need a Thanksgiving budget if you want to save money! How else are you going to know where your money is going or how much to spend?

This is so important!

If you don't have a budget, you are going to overspend money this Thanksgiving Day. So start budgeting, and most importantly, keep it real! What you need to budget for:

  • Food
  • Entertainment

Keep the budget simple and spend what you can afford!

Spending money on Thanksgiving Day decorations

Cut down on your Thanksgiving Day decorations and simply save the money. Adding to everything buying decorations, such as Thanksgiving Day plates and cups, is a waste of money. Instead, let nature be your decorations, buy pumpkins, and let the turkey be the centerpiece for Thanksgiving Day.

There's no need to spend money on decorations only for that day when your budget is limited.


Thanksgiving Day is a fantastic time of the year, and you shouldn't be worrying about breaking the bank on this day. However, avoiding these six mistakes will help keep you on track with your finances and what is essential.

What other mistakes do you avoid making that helps you save money on Thanksgiving Day? What other helpful tips do you have?

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  1. I’m getting ready to host my first ever Thanksgiving and I am already planning. Thanks for the tips!

  2. It’s so easy to let the costs of celebrations add up! Whenever I host I usually end up spending much more than I had originally anticipated so I appreciate these tips. Thanks Joyce. 😀

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