Thanksgiving this year may be a little tight because of the global pandemic. Some may not be able to celebrate the occasion the way they used to. However, there’s no need to worry or be sad about it. You can still celebrate Thanksgiving even if there are some budget constraints. We’re here to give you some tips and tricks on how to prepare your Thanksgiving meals when you’re on a budget. These easy Thanksgiving recipes are as yummy as the ones that you usually make but at a lesser cost.
Tips on Creating a Budget Thanksgiving Menu
Save money on these helpful tips and tricks on how to prepare your Thanksgiving meals while you’re on a budget.
- Opt for store-brand frozen turkey. You can save money when you purchase frozen turkey from your local supermarkets or stores instead of buying a fresh bird. You just need to allow the turkey to thaw before you prep, marinade, and cook it.
- Keep things simple. Let go of all the complicated recipes that you usually make. Choose simple yet yummy recipes that only require the essential ingredients.
- Shop ahead of time. With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, you can purchase the essentials for your dinner early. This way, the prices are still on sale. During these times, stores usually offer Thanksgiving specials that are on sale. You can also use coupons to gain discounts on the essentials that you need.
- Choose generic over branded. When shopping for your Thanksgiving essentials, you can opt to purchase generic ones instead of the branded products that you’re used to. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.
- Create a list and stick to it. Finally, you need to create a list of items that you need. Your list can help you avoid going over your budget. It’s important to stick to your list to also avoid purchasing items that you don’t really need.
Now that you’ve got these helpful tips, it’s time to start making your Thanksgiving menu!
Easy Thanksgiving Recipes on a Budget
Create these tasty and delicious recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner. These dishes are tasty, delicious, and budget-friendly.
Slow Roasted Turkey
Turkey is a Thanksgiving dinner staple so it’s a dish that shouldn’t be skipped. Thanksgiving isn’t complete without it. This simple turkey recipe is perfect for your Thanksgiving celebration but requires at least 2 days to prepare and around 11 hours to cook. This recipe will serve a lot so it’s perfect when you’re planning on still inviting your family and friends over. Here’s the recipe:
- 14 pounds turkey
- 4 ounces or 1 stick of softened butter (choose the one with a high butter fat)
- 4 sprigs of sage
- 4 sprigs of rosemary
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 5 lemons, cut into half
- 1 cup of white wine
- a pinch of Kosher salt
- a pinch of black pepper, ground
- Dry your turkey for 1 to 2 days in the fridge before you roast it. Unwrap your turkey, rinse, and pat dry using paper towels. Make sure that the insides and outside are dry. Place it on a tray or roasting pan and leave uncovered in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
- When ready to roast, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Tuck the wings of your turkey and tie the legs together. Place the turkey on the roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
- Evenly coat the turkey’s outside with the softened butter. It’s much better to use your hands for this step.
- Stuff the lemon and herb sprigs inside the turkey. Season the turkey with salt and pepper. Don’t forget to pour white wine into the roasting pan’s base.
- Roast the turkey for about 10 hours until the skin is crispy and brown. Make sure to baste the turkey every 1 to 2 hours.
- Once the turkey is golden brown, you can preheat your oven again to 375 degrees F. Roast the turkey again for another 40 minutes until it becomes more crisp and fully cooked.
- Cool for 15 to 30 minutes then carve.
This recipe serves a lot so you’ll definitely have leftovers. You can use the turkey meat for your sandwiches or salads after Thanksgiving. Here’s a basic tutorial video on how to prep and roast a turkey.
Hot Honey Butternut Squash Soup
Soup is always a part of any celebration. Since it’s Thanksgiving, it’s only perfect to cook a squash soup. Here’s a simple squash soup dish that serves about 4 to 6 people.
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 chopped small onion
- 1 teaspoon of cumin, ground
- 1 tablespoon of ginger, ground
- 1 butternut squash (peel, seed, and dice)
- 1 Idaho potato (peel and dice)
- ½ cup of cream
- 3 cups of vegetable of chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of hot honey to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the butter in a large pot. Saute the garlic and onions until they are soft. Add the ground cumin and ginger. Make sure not to burn the garlic.
- Add the potato, squash, and stock. Cook (while covered) on high heat until the squash is soft and cooked. Avoid fully cooking the squash.
- Cool the mixture and blend until it is creamy and pureed.
- Heat for an additional 30 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve this with a baguette and top with cream and chives.
Enjoy the warmth of this dish with the entire family. You can watch this video to learn how to properly cook this dish.
Cranberry sauce is a must for Thanksgiving. It goes well with your turkey. You can even use it to add a bit of sweetness to your pie or desserts. This recipe will take 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook. It also creates 2 and ½ cups of cranberry sauce servings. Grab these ingredients and follow these directions.
- 1 pound of fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup of orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon of orange zest
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, ground
- ¼ teaspoon of cloves, ground
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat (simmer) and cook for 20 minutes. Make sure the saucepan is covered and you mash the cranberries every hour.
- The sauce will be ready when the cranberries are soft, translucent, and broken into halves. Make sure that the texture is similar to a jam.
- Once done, cool for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick before you store or serve.
- The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 5 days.
This cranberry sauce is great for your turkey roast, sandwiches, and even bread. Use this sauce for a variety purposes. Watch this video for a tutorial on how to make this.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cook a buttery and garlicky mashed potato this Thanksgiving. This simple yet tasty mashed potato recipe is what you need to complete your Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s how to make this.
- 3 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes (peel and cut into ½ inch portions)
- 8 tablespoons of butter
- 10 cloves of peeled and minced garlic
- 3 ½ ounces of goat cheese
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- milk or heavy cream as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup of scallions, chopped
- In a large pot with water, place the potatoes and cover. Bring it to a boil until the potatoes are tender. This will usually take 15 up to 18 minutes.
- As your potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently. Make sure not to let the garlic burn or turn to brown, as you need to infuse the garlic flavor into the butter.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and transfer them into a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in your butter and garlic mixture while the potatoes are still warm. Mash the ingredients together well.
- Add in the Parmesan cheese, as well as the goat cheese, into the potatoes and continue incorporating them into the mixture.
- Add the cream until you achieve the consistency that you like. Season with salt and pepper, as well as the chopped scallions.
- Transfer the mashed potatoes into your baking dish and add 2 tablespoons of butter on top. Bake in a 375 degrees F oven until the top is brown and crusty.
- Serve and enjoy!
This mashed potato dish is easy and only requires a few ingredients. This dish will surely fit in your budget. You can watch this tutorial to get some idea on how to make this dish.
For dessert, you can simply purchase a pie or cake that you like. This will save you time and money instead of choosing to make your own from scratch. It will also help you have time to set up your Thanksgiving table.
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Now that you’re done with the dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to create a cute Thanksgiving tablescape on a budget! Here are out top 10 finds to help you decorate a Thanksgiving-worthy table.
1. Cassiel Home Fall Embroidered Leaves Table Runner
If you’re trying to save on Thanksgiving décor, you can purchase this table runner instead. Just place it on your table or over a white table cloth and it will instantly turn any dull dining table into a beautiful one that’s ready for the occasion. You can purchase this from Amazon.
2. DII Classic Round Woven Placemats in Orange
This set of 6 orange placemats is 15 inches in diameter. They are perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner. These will add a pop of color to your table and brings out a festive vibe on your dinner table. Each placemat features a braided and woven design that gives off a rustic vibe. You can grab a set of 6 from Amazon.
3. Amazon Basics 18-Piece Stoneware Dinnerware Set in Tangerine Orange
How gorgeous are these dinner wares? It’s in a bright orange hue that will truly pop out. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving and great when paired with the orange placemats. These stoneware can withstand up to 572 degrees. These are also freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe. You can order a set on Amazon.
4. Kraftware The Fishnet Collection Doublewall Drinkware in Spice Orange
To complete your tablescape and dinnerware, grab a set of 4 of these doublewall drinkware. It features a fishnet design that’s sleek, fun, and vibrant. You can purchase a set of 4 from Amazon.
5. Thanksgiving Cutlery Holder Set for Table Decoration
Add a bit of cuteness to your entire tablescape. These turkey cutlery holders are just too cute to pass. Each set includes 24 pieces of 7 ½ inch long and 4 ¾ inch wide cutlery holders that feature a cute turkey design. Grab a set of 24 from Amazon.
6. Pumpkin Napkin Rings Napkin Holder
These cute napkin rings are made of alloy and are sure to bring out a rustic feel to your Thanksgiving table ensemble. These practical table décor are both beautiful and ornamental. You can purchase a set of 6 or a set of 12. Place your orders now on Amazon.
7. Set of 6 Turkey Tea Light Candleholders
Here’s another rustic-themed Thanksgiving décor that will truly bring out warmth and home-y vibe in your Thanksgiving dinner. Each set include 6 turkey candleholders. You can place it on your dinner table or even your kitchen or living room. You can purchase this set from Amazon.
8. Mixed Color Artificial Maple Leaves Table Centerpiece
Here’s a purposeful centerpiece that you can use not just for fall or Thanksgiving. You can use it as a centerpiece for your dinner and you can use it as an additional home decoration after the festivities. You can grab this centerpiece from Amazon.
9. AuldHome Turkey Place Card Holders
Add a personalized touch that your guests will appreciate. These ceramic turkey place card holders are reusable. Simply write the names of your guests on the holders using an erasable marker and you can still reuse them after. These are available in sets of 6 on Amazon.
10. Kurala Turkey Centerpiece Décor for Thanksgiving
This beautifully crafted and handpainted turkey is a great centerpiece for your dinner table. You can easily display it on your dining table, kitchen shelf, and even your living room table. It features a turkey with sunflower details and a pumpkin with a “Be Thankful” carved on it. Order yours now on Amazon.
Find more tablescape décor here:
These Thanksgiving decorations are a perfect match for creating a Thanksgiving dinner this year. Together with these easy Thanksgiving recipes, you can still celebrate a memorable Thanksgiving even when there’s a pandemic. If you didn’t find the decorations you’ve been looking for, you can check out more of them here:
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