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Yes, you can have a calm and stress-free Thanksgiving that doesn’t bust your budget! Here’s how:

Start planning early.

Instead of waiting for the overwhelm to hit a week before Thanksgiving, start planning now. Look through your favorite recipe blogs and cookbooks to compile a list of dishes you want to serve.

Next, make a detailed menu and start listing the ingredients you’ll purchase. You can also jot down any other purchases you’ll need to make, such as decor items. Aside from making your prep easier, planning early will help you make more responsible money choices as you shop.

Create a detailed schedule.

Now you can start scheduling the tasks you’ve just listed into your calendar. Plan your to-do list so your prep gets done in batches. For example, you can pencil in a baking night three weeks before Thanksgiving and tackle all your baked goods then. This way, you’ll cross lots of to-dos off your list at once.

Consider a buffet.

If you hate missing the best parts of the dinner conversation because you’re busy in the kitchen, consider a buffet-style meal.


This can be tough for some. Don’t be afraid to assign small jobs to your guests. Just knowing that Cousin Jen is bringing the mashed potatoes and your mom will bring pecan pie for dessert, means two Thanksgiving menu items off your head.

Set up a kids’ corner.

If you’re hosting families with children, create a kid-friendly area with games, coloring books and activities to keep the little ones engaged. This way, parents can enjoy the meal without worrying about bored and restless kids.

Use disposable dishes.

Yes, we said it!  With today’s robust dinnerware options, you can have your convenience without compromising on your conscience. You can choose from a variety of eco-friendly disposable options, from compostable cutlery to bamboo plates and more. You make the rules for your stress-free thanksgiving!

Set up a self-serve drink station.

Create a self-serve drink station with a variety of beverages for catering to different preferences. Include water, non-alcoholic options and a signature Thanksgiving cocktail.

Keep the centerpiece simple.

With so much going on at the table, there’s no need to overthink the centerpiece. A simple wooden board filled with seasonal gourds will add that festive touch to the table without breaking the budget. Add some pillar candles from a dollar store to complete the look.

Cook two small turkeys.

If you’re hosting a crowd, consider cooking two small birds instead of one large one. You’ll save on defrosting time, freezer space and the stress of choosing the perfect recipe. You may even save money on your entree by splitting it into two with this hack.

Do one less thing.

If you find one dish is stressing you out and will cost more than it’s worth, just let it go. Leave it out, and no one will know the difference.

Use these hacks for a stress-free Thanksgiving!