Thanksgiving doesn’t have to cost a wing and a leg. Save money with these seven tips.

Thanksgiving is the holiday for appreciating good food with family and friends. But overindulging can be pricey.

The average consumer will spend approximately $97.55 this Thanksgiving on non-travel related expenses, according to a recent survey by LendEDU, an online marketplace for student-loan refinancing. The company compiled the dating by asking 1,000 participants, ages 18 and up, how they plan to celebrate. 

This, of course, is only an estimate and does not include name-brand products or anything fancy. Toss in side dishes, desserts and booze and the price only goes up.

If you want to save money, you need to have a plan in place. 

“You have to be a creative cook,” says Phil Lempert, grocery expert and food industry analyst, who runs “A lot of your menu depends on who you’re inviting over: people with allergies, gluten-free, people who don’t like turkey. Plan out as much as possible.” 

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This holiday, count your blessings and your pennies with these quick and easy tips to save. 

1. Party

First, decide what kind of event you’re going to have. If you’re hosting a party, have a potluck. Tell your guests to bring something to share. “It’s the spirit of the holidays,” says Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert. “People want to help.” And if you’re the guest, don’t show up empty-handed. Websites like and have deals on gift baskets and flower arrangements.

2. Menu

Create a budget and decide what’s important. No one ever eats the cranberry sauce? Leave it off the menu and save both time and money. Instead of offering guests three variations of dessert, just pick one.

“Planning out the menu by person is expensive,” Lempert says. “If you try to do everything for everyone, you’re going to waste a lot of money.” Instead, he recommends making a list of who’s coming over and what dietary restrictions each person has to ensure you’re making the right amount. “You’re not saving any money if you’re throwing away a lot of food,” Lempert says. Butterball has a cooking…