Friendsgiving is an increasingly popular celebration that people host for their buddies. It’s Thanksgiving without the awkward political conversations and drama that the traditional family version often brings. But like Thanksgiving, it can be an expensive event if you don’t plan properly. If you’re organizing a “Friendsgiving” celebration with your buddies, here’s how to stay on budget.
Make a Plan
You’ll need to prepare early if you want to host a Friendsgiving on a budget. Start by creating a guest list. You may be tempted to invite a lot of people to Friendsgiving, but keep the gathering small so it’s more manageable, and you can enjoy the meal and your company. A good way to figure out the number of invitees is to match the number of guests to the number of table seats you have. If your table fits eight people, invite eight. If you can make some space and add a second table to accommodate additional guests, do so. Just don’t invite more people than the number of seats available.
Once you know how many people you’ll invite, set a timetable for picking up the groceries, prepping the food, cleaning your place, and laying out the table. Having a clear itinerary will reduce stress and prevent last minute chores.
Hosting an event by yourself is a lot of work and can be expensive. Food and alcoholic drinks are especially pricey. You can reduce costs by making your Friendsgiving a potluck dinner. Have your pals pitch in by contributing a dish, snacks or beverages. It’s a good idea to keep track of what each person brings, so you don’t end up with duplicate dishes. You don’t need multiple bowls of mashed potatoes. A simple spreadsheet can help you organize. You can also choose to delegate specific dishes.
Prep Dishes Before the Party
It’s a good idea to prepare as much of your Friendsgiving meal as you can before the event. Make side dishes like stuffing, mac and cheese, and mashed potatoes the day before. If you plan to serve turkey, prepare the bird ahead of time with a brine or seasoning it, so all you need to do is put it in the oven the day of your party.
Try Going Non-Traditional
A traditional Thanksgiving meal usually revolves around a whole turkey, but you don’t have to go that route. Whole turkeys can be quite expensive, so consider skipping the full bird to save a few bucks. Buy a turkey breast or choose a completely different meat like chicken or ham. When making other dishes like desserts, find less expensive recipes. Instead of making pumpkins pies, for example, you could try making a batch of pumpkin cookies to save money on the cost of crusts. Here are 75 cheap pumpkin recipes to consider from prudentpennypincher.com.
There are also no rules about when you need to host Friendsgiving. Instead of a full-blown Friendsgiving dinner, think about hosting a buffet-style lunch. A mid-day buffet will cut back on your prep work and lighten your stress.
Keep Decorations Simple
If you’d like to decorate your place for Friendsgiving, keep it simple. Pumpkins, gourds, and leaves are perfect decorations for Fall, and they are inexpensive and easy to find. Be creative with the items you already have. Here are some easy budget ideas from dummies.com to make your Friendsgiving celebration come alive.