June 03, 2022
Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates the bounty of the harvest season. It's also a great time to get together with friends, family, and colleagues and enjoy some delicious food (and good conversation). But in today's economy, it can be tough to come up with enough money not only for groceries but also for travel expenses. If you're wondering how much exactly it costs to host Thanksgiving dinner at home, then read on!
How to Determine Your Thanksgiving Budget
According to the American Farm Bureau Association, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people was roughly $54 in 2021. In the last year, due to inflation and other economic issues, the cost of groceries went up about 13%.
With the Thanksgiving Dinner Survey Data from the Farm Bureau, you can expect:
- The average cost of a traditional thanksgiving dinner this year will be about $6 per person.
- The average Thanksgiving budget should be at least $60 for ten people.
Of course, the exact amount of money you need to budget for your holiday will depend on the number of guests, whether or not you want leftovers, and how big of servings your family typically eats. If you want to be extra cautious, it’s always best to round up. For example, consider budgeting $80 for your Thanksgiving dinner for a family of ten.
Tips for Setting Your Thanksgiving Budget
The best place to start is to consider what you want on your thanksgiving dinner menu. Write it down and then really look at it. Do you really need more than a couple of different side dishes? Can you ask your guests to bring sides or dessert?
Try to work your menu down to the most loved dishes and the ones that you are in charge of providing for your family. Then start considering the average cost of the ingredients you’ll need on your shopping list.
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner and how much you should budget, the price of turkey is just one consideration.
Some other costs are:
- Stuffing (about $2 per person)
- Mashed potatoes (about $1 per person)
- Gravy (about $1 per person)
- Cranberry sauce (about $1–$2 per person)
Other expenses include vegetables, salad, beverages, and more. Depending on what you plan on serving for your main course — whether it's a traditional roast turkey or some other dish that requires additional side dishes — this can add up quickly. You'll also need to factor in desserts like pies and cakes if you're doing a dessert buffet instead of individual servings.
Write down these costs in your shopping list to get an idea of what your holiday budget will be. Or use our free Budget Worksheet as a guide.
Consider Non-Food Items In Your Thanksgiving Budget
Are you expected to travel on your Thanksgiving holiday? Your Budget could include an extra $150 or more in travel costs alone. If you're planning long-distance Thanksgiving travel, plan for some additional costs there as well (like gas money).
You might also want to consider adding "decorating" or "cleaning up" items into your budget if those things are important concepts within your household—but don't forget that they're not necessities! If they aren't important to you, then save yourself some money by skipping these items altogether this year to save some money.
Planning Ahead for your Thanksgiving Expenses
It's important to plan ahead when budgeting for your Thanksgiving dinner. Planning will help you save money and avoid overspending, as well as keep you prepared for the holiday.
Planning ahead will allow you to be flexible when unexpected expenses arise. For example, if a guest requests to bring another person, you can adjust your spending accordingly without ruining your budget. This flexibility is one of the best reasons to plan ahead!
Planning ahead will also give you time to be more prepared for the holiday itself. Having ample time to save money or coordinate shared costs with your family members can make the holiday expenses much less stressful for you and your family. For example, if you plan to have a budget of $100 for Thanksgiving, then consider starting to save 2 months prior. Just putting away $20 a week will allow you to have the money you need for your entire Thanksgiving budget.
Get Additional Help with a Personal Loan
The bottom line is that Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together and celebrate. If you’re lucky enough to have the ability to provide them with a delicious meal, then go for it!
If you don’t have enough saved for your Thanksgiving budget this year, consider applying for a personal installment loan. Sunset Finance offers installment loans with fixed payments for a set term. This allows you to fit the loan payment into your monthly budget. Check out Sunset Finance FAQs or give us a call if you have questions.
If you would like more resources on personal finances and budgeting, check out these resources:
- Read about How To Adjust Your Budget For Rising Prices
- Download our Free Simple Monthly Budgeting Worksheet
- Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.
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