Thanksgiving table

How to: host a thrifty Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings together the bounty of the season, friends and family in a celebration of giving thanks. Hosting these dinners can easily put a dent in your wallet, but there are ways to prevent that so don’t let that stop you from inviting everyone over this time around.

How to feed them well, even on a budget:

Set the table. Forget the flowers or fancy centrepieces. Use edibles on the table that you can eat after displaying. Squash, sugar pumpkins, apples, rosemary, foraged greens or fallen leaves are local and seasonally appropriate. Add cheap candles in mason jars for ambience.Thanksgiving punch

Make a punch. Punch is a juicy, sparkling and money-saving drink to serve at gatherings. Always serve over ice and add a little extra soda water to extend the savings. Need a serving container? Mix it in a glass bowl, a Dutch oven, or grab a punch bowl at the thrift store for a few dollars. Here are two recipes to try, one with alcohol and one without.

Go vegetarian. Vegetarian mains are almost always cheaper than meat-based options. Stuff a squash instead of a turkey. Try these beautiful stuffed squashes for a main course that won’t soon be forgotten. Or, try this hearty vegan lentil loaf .thanksgiving-squash3

Potluck it. You’d be surprised at how many people are more than happy to contribute to the cornucopia of delights in exchange for a night off from hosting. Just don’t leave the details up for grabs. With some planning, allocate appetizer, salad, vegetable, dessert and wine to others. Work on setting the scene and providing the main.

Meat lover? If you love meat, make a big roast and go for something you will enjoy eating for a few days after. Leftovers can result in major time and cost savings. Try this Turkey Divan recipe to create a simple casserole out of leftover turkey.

Go ahead and host. May it be fun, festive and full of Thanksgiving cheer!

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