Feeding a Big Family Thanksgiving Dinner? Share Tips for Savings

The cost of a Thanksgiving spread, with all the trimmings, for a family of 10, is expected to rise by 13 percent this year, with most of the hike being attributed to the cost of the bird. How are you cutting costs?

Anyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends knows that preparing this feast, with all the trimmings, is time consuming and costly, but worth the effort.

I've only done the honors twice, and was surprised at how much money I spent. This year, thanks to increasing costs for turkey, the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner for 10 is expected to rise by 13 percent, to $49.20.

That amount seemed low to me, for a dinner for 10, but maybe I'm shopping at the wrong stores. Or maybe my family eats a lot more than the average. Last year, we had a potluck style Thanksgiving dinner, with everyone bringing a dish, and my sister-in-law preparing the main meal.

I brought spicy greens — figuring they would be an alternative veggie — and because the mustard and collard greens were on sale, I spent all of $3. This was less than what I spent on a block of cheese the year before, when I hosted the dinner.

So, how does a large family do it? Do you swap a frozen bird for a fresh one, cutting the per-pound cost in half? My mother never had a fresh turkey, that I can remember. The preparation for the meal always started with defrosting.

Do you encourage family members to bring a dish, as we've recently started doing? Do you watch the circulars for the best deals, and incorporate a lot of home cooking and baking, rather than buying prepared dishes?

Do you skip the turkey, altogether, and go for something less expensive?

Share your advice with fellow readers!


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