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In these hard economic times, many families worry about how they will be able to afford the holidays. Discover the tips that can help you stop worrying and take action now so that you can enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday.

In these hard economic times, many families worry about how they will be able to afford the holidays. If you have been wondering how you will be able to keep up with all of the holiday expenses, you are not alone. Discover the tips that can help you stop worrying and take action now so that you can enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. 

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Skip the Turkey 

Skip the turkey? Before you freak out, consider that skipping the turkey may not be such a bad idea. Consider the fact that although the turkey is the dish most closely associated with the Thanksgiving meal, it doesn't have to be. When you get to the core of Thanksgiving and why we celebrate the holiday, the turkey is really not that significant. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and spending time with family and friends. If you can get on board with the idea of not serving turkey, you can cut your budget by a good bit, as the bird is almost always the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving table. 

Shop Early 

Don’t wait until right before the holiday to purchase your thanksgiving trimmings. Shop early and buy as many of those items as you can now. Many items, such as canned veggies or bagged stuffing mixes, have a long shelf life and can be purchased in advance. Shopping early will be less stressful in the long run and will help you avoid inflated holiday pricing. 

Take Advantage of Free Turkey Offers 

Nearly all of the major food store chains offer free turkeys or sometimes ham for Thanksgiving. The deal is that several weeks before Thanksgiving, you begin accumulating points for the dollars that you spend at the store. The store has a preset point or dollar amount goal. If you’re a repeat weekly shopper to the same food store, then you’ll have no problem reaching your point goal and receiving your free turkey. 

Host a Potluck 

Having a potluck Thanksgiving is a great idea to take the financial pressure off of the host, learn new recipes and get the family involved. Tell your guests you’ll make the bird if they bring the sides and desserts. You could divide and conquer the Thanksgiving Day meal using less money and less time and it may be fun to learn some old family recipes or even some new ones, and best of all, less work for you. 

Scale Back On Food 

On Thanksgiving, American families waste an estimated 25% of all of the food cooked in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner. Your meal does not need to include all the trimmings, especially if you find yourself throwing out the bulk of it a few days after Thanksgiving. Scale down your meal, prepare less accompaniments and try cooking only what you’re sure will be eaten. This will help you to avoid unnecessary spending and unnecessary waste. 

Make Use of Leftovers 

If you just can’t help yourself and need to make a large turkey with all the trimmings, be sure you have an idea of what to do with the leftovers. You can plan a week worth of eating with Thanksgiving Day leftovers. For example: turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey salad, and turkey potpie. 

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