To many people, Thanksgiving means parades, turkey, and football. It can also mean that your wallet will feel a lot lighter at the month’s end. According to the American Farm Bureau, the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 cost around $50. And we think, with a few tips, you can exceed that average to make things cost a little less — and it’s easier than you may think.

Start Buying Now

While you may want to wait until it gets a little closer to Thanksgiving to buy perishables, you can start buying items such as boxed stuffing, canned vegetables, and frozen turkeys now. This allows you time compare prices and cut coupons.

So, when you see a good deal, grab it.

Just make certain to only buy items you need rather than buying something only because it was a good price.

Keep an Eye on the Thermostat

While we never know what to expect when it comes to the weather on Thanksgiving Day in North Carolina, you can be assured that a hot oven and a large group of people in your home will start to make things a little toasty. If it’s cold outside, you’ll have everyone’s permission to turn the thermostat down to save on heating costs. If it’s pleasant outside, then consider turning your system off altogether and open up the windows.

Utilize Simple Decor

When you have a lot of folks coming over to your house, it’s tempting to buy festive decor to make the day feel special. This is totally unnecessary. Thanksgiving is the ideal holiday to display natural elements such as acorns, pinecones, and tree branches.

Pinterest is full of ideas that can be realized with only materials found in your yard.

Host a Potluck

Not only will this help your bank account, but it also means less time in the kitchen and less time devoted to cleaning up. It is also a fun chance to get everyone involved on this special day and allows them to contribute. Just don’t forget to either assign dishes or email a sign-up sheet so you don’t end up with four sweet potato casseroles.

Be Thankful

Most importantly, take a moment to remember what this holiday is really all about: being thankful for what we have. Not only is this activity free, but it helps us to pause for a moment a take stock of all the good things in our lives. Whether it’s a family tradition to go around the table and note something you were thankful for this year, or if you write it down privately in a journal, gratitude changes everything.

Cash Fast Loan Centers wishes you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.