Tips for Stretching Your Thanksgiving Budget

thanksgiving dinner There are a lot of things to look forward to as the holiday season approaches each year. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with the people you love and count your blessings. However, you are likely working hard to count your dollars, too, and stick to your Thanksgiving budget. Stretch your hard-earned cash as far as possible this Thanksgiving by keeping these tips in mind.

Determine Your Priorities You don't have to miss out on your favorite things about Thanksgiving just because your budget is a little tight this year. Instead, focus on the things that matter the most to you.

Before you can decide how to budget your dollars, you have to determine your priorities. If eating dessert is the highlight of your Thanksgiving meal, you don't want to skimp on the pies. However, you might be able to save a few dollars by making rolls at home instead of buying them this year. If shopping with your relatives on Black Friday has become a loved tradition, consider preparing a simpler meal this year and tacking on the extra funds onto your shopping budget.

Use Your Energy Wisely When you're doing a lot of cooking and entertaining, you'll be using a lot more energy in your home. Fortunately, you can make small changes that will make a big difference in your energy bills.

First, be sure that everyone in your family understands the importance of not wasting energy. Train your kids to turn off the lights when they leave a room, unplug devices that aren't in use overnight, or try turning your thermostat down a couple of degrees while you sleep.

In most households, heating is one of the biggest expenses during the winter months. If your house isn't energy-efficient, consider making some investments that will reduce your bills while improving the value of your home. This can be as simple as adding new weather stripping around your windows or as involved as purchasing energy-efficient vinyl replacement windows.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help Thanksgiving naturally draws people together, so it's the perfect time to ask for help. When you're inviting people to Thanksgiving dinner, politely ask them to bring along a pie, salad or beverages. When everyone chips in, the financial burden won't be too heavy on any participants.

If you're having overnight guests during the holiday season, don't fall into the trap of thinking that costly entertainment is necessary. Gather around a fire while you play board games, enjoy a local high school football game, or simply enjoy telling stories and spending time together.