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by sitecore\ahamil on November 19, 2009

5 ways to keep tradition this Thanksgiving without breaking the bank

If you give thanks for all the tradition surrounding the Thanksgiving harvest festival, you’ll appreciate this list on how to pay homage to the Thanksgiving tradition without paying much out of pocket.

1. Watch the Thanksgiving Day parade. Since 1924, Macy’s has been entertaining crowds with the sounds of marching bands and sights of whimsical floats parading down Broadway. Luckily, you don’t have to spend the money to travel all the way to New York to experience this Thanksgiving tradition. The parade was aired nationally for the first time in 1947 and is a visual treat viewers still enjoy from the comfort of their couches today.

2. Feast. The Thanksgiving holiday is known for its food. Turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, and honey baked ham are enough to set any Thanksgiving traditionalist’s mouth watering. Shop smart this turkey day by going to the store with your coupons and shopping list in hand.

3. Break the wishbone. Everyone in your family gets to enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving Day but only two lucky members get a chance to break the wishbone. The tradition goes like this: two people (usually kids) each grab a side of the ‘Y’ shaped turkey bone and pull. Whoever gets the “lucky break,” the side of the wishbone that is longer, gets to make a wish. Sometimes the simple, inexpensive pleasures bring the most joy!

4. Shop smart on Black Friday. If you must partake in the shopping tradition on Black Friday, take care to keep your finances in the black! Stores are known for offering big discounts on the Friday following Thanksgiving so take advantage of them. Clip coupons, shop sales, and check out the abundant online resources dedicated to bringing you deals on Black Friday.

5. Be thankful. Giving thanks for what you have is perhaps the most time-honored tradition of the holiday season. As your family and friends gather around the table this year, ask each one to offer up one thing which they are truly thankful for. Another low-cost way to keep this tradition alive is by crafting a Thanksgiving tree centerpiece. Each guest writes what he or she is thankful for on leaves cut from paper to hang on a decorative tree in the center of the table.

5 Ways to Break Tradition this Thanksgiving without Breaking the Bank

Would you rather be breaking tradition instead of wishbones? If you are not a keen observer of the turkey tradition and would rather be spending your Thanksgiving trying something new, here’s a list of five ideas to help you plan a thrifty Thanksgiving celebration to suite your alternative taste.

1. Try a progressive dinner. All guests will meet at one home for appetizers then progress to a new home for salad. Dinner is served at yet another location and, afterwards, the whole party will move on to another spot for dessert. The point of the progressive dinner is that each course is hosted at a different home.

The key to a successful progressive dinner is to coordinate with all who will be attending the event. Set up times when you will arrive at and leave each home so your hosts will have a heads up about when they will be serving their spread. Progressive dinners are inexpensive since responsibility of paying for food is split up between multiple homes.

2. Give back. Traditionally, families gather around to give thanks on Thanksgiving. This year, do more than give thanks for all you have, give others something to be thankful for. Visit VolunteerMatch.org, a database for nonprofits looking for volunteers, to search for opportunities to give back this holiday season.

3. Dine out. Another alternative dinner idea to the at-home meal is to have your Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant. If you have a big family, split the bill so financial responsibility is not being shouldered by just one person.

4. Get out and play. Forgo the Thanksgiving Day spent vegging out in front of the TV watching football followed by a turkey-induced nap. This Thanksgiving, get out of the house to enjoy the crisp autumn air. Visit a local park and engage your family in your own football game. After all, the average person consumes a 3,000 calorie Thanksgiving feast—time to start burning those calories!

5. Try a vegetarian Thanksgiving spread. The turkey is usually the most expensive part of the meal. Spend less by serving up some cost-friendly starches.

For more ideas, download our free Thrifty Thanksgiving eBook.

Thrifty Thanksgiving by MoneyManagement.

Posted in:  Frugality, Holiday
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