Thanksgiving Dinner Without Much Money

A plate of turkey dinner with turkey, cranberries and mashed potatoes.

Not having a lot of money during the holidays can be tough. However, you can still have a nice Thanksgiving dinner when you are short on money. This is a guide about having a Thanksgiving dinner without much money.


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Article: Thanksgiving on a Tight Budget

Photo of a box of On-Cor Turkey Slices.With money being so tight this year I was very worried about whether we would be able to have any sort of Thanksgiving Day dinner. So after some serious thinking, I put my plan into action, and we ended up having the best Thanksgiving ever.

Just before Halloween, every time I went food shopping I picked up two to three extra items that we would have at Thanksgiving My husband isn't a big turkey eater so we bought two boxes of On-Cor Turkey Slices out of the frozen food aisle. It was the first thing we bought because we learned from the year before that anything with Turkey in the Frozen food aisle is long gone and sold out before Thanksgiving.

The next shopping trip we picked up some cranberry sauce and stuffing. The trip after that we picked up what I would need for a green bean casserole and scalloped potatoes.

The forth trip we bought what was needed to make our sweet potato casserole and turnips.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we had an incredible Thanksgiving with plenty of leftovers. I will definitely be doing the same thing for Christmas and all future holidays.

By caroleerose from Madison, AL

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Tip: Making Thanksgiving Dinner Using Only a Food Box

I just received my Thanksgiving Food Box from a local church, and decided that I would try and make a complete Turkey Day Dinner for about 8 people from only the food in the box. Here's what they gave me:

  • 1 (8-12 lb.) turkey
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 4 apples
  • 6 potatoes
  • 1 bag stuffing mix
  • 1 lb. margarine
  • 5 lb. bag of flour
  • 4 lb. bag of sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can sweet potatoes
  • 1 box cheddar cheese pasta mix
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cake mix
  • tomato soup
  • peanut butter
  • tuna
And here is the menu I came up with for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Baked Turkey: turkey

Mashed Potatoes: potatoes, butter, and evaporated milk

Stuffing: stuffing mix, celery, and apples

Green Beans: can of green beans

Sweet Potatoes with Sugar and Butter: can of sweet potatoes, sugar, and margarine

White Cheddar Pasta: box of pasta mix

Apple Crumble or Cobbler: apples, flour, sugar, and butter

Chocolate Cake: cake mix and eggs

I think that will do it, and it's plenty of food. Most of these dishes are easy to make, and You can find recipes for most of them online or maybe at Thriftyfun. Happy Thanksgiving!

By Laurie from Portland, OR

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