4 Ways to save money on Thanksgiving dinner 2020

lIt is that time of year again when your Thanksgiving budget and holiday spending can quickly get out of control. Even the most disciplined budgeters find themselves spending more money than intended. Monday, many Canadians will safely celebrate Thanksgiving according to the recommendation of the BC Centre for Disease Control, even though COVID-19 is still a significant health concern. It requires social distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent hand sanitization. The Coronavirus pandemic has created a severe limitation on frugal dinner hosts who are debating how to save money on Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Hosts are wreaking their brains (and their credit card/wallet) debating how to make traditional Thanksgiving dinner on a budget for family and friends. This year there are additional costs for celebrating safely. Here are a few of the hidden costs that will blow any Canadian Thanksgiving budget and ruin the moment.

How to Save Money on Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner 2020

1.      Guest List – Small Gatherings

Never mind that the definition of “small gathering” is limited to six-people. Having to be the bearer of bad news to those who did NOT make the invite list will be a gruesome task. Choosing one sibling over another is a horrible predicament to be in. The stress of a limited guest list will create an unnecessary strain on personal relations that will not invoke the warm and fuzzy holiday spirit anticipated.

2.      Seating – Indoor vs. Outdoor

The social distancing of guests should be at least 6-feet apart for indoor dining. It will require a large enough indoor space for dinner guests to sit, stand, and eat safely. I do not have that kind of space, so let’s consider Plan B. Outdoor dinner table seating will provide better ventilation. However, the average temperature in Canada during this time of year is between 7.4°C (45.3°F) and 14°C (57.2°F). Not already owning an outdoor patio heater can cost anywhere between $130. 00 to $1,200.00. This additional expense can create additional debt on top of your Thanksgiving meal budget.

3.      Ambiance – Keep the volume low

Although we have already adjusted to the new norm of non-contact greetings such as air-kisses, elbow bumps, and waves, the usual TV social of turkey day football and hockey will not be the same. Hosts are encouraged to keep the television volume down. Low enough for guests to avoid yelling and shouting to safely discourage any airborne transmission of potential Covid-19 pathogens or droplets. The game doesn’t sound like much fun anymore. If we add alcohol to the equation, the invasion of personal space in my family goes out the window. (So much for social distancing.)

4.      Sterilization and Sanitation

Being a dinner host means ensuring you refill glasses frequently, the dirty dishes are out of sight, and table snacks are available for the picking. The host must oversee the cleanliness and sterilization of shared environments. For example, surfaces such as stair railings, bathroom counters, and serving utensils. Stocking up on various disposable cleaning products for Thanksgiving 2020 is a must! Also, keep stock of disposable face masks for guests who may need to replace the ones they were wearing. These items have also appeared on this year’s grocery store list.


Budgeting money for a savory Thanksgiving dinner with complementary sides and fixing takes mastery. Unfortunately, doing so during the Coronavirus epidemic will require additional financial expenditures.

When deciding if hosting Thanksgiving dinner is the way to go, consider limited seating, small spaces, air ventilation, and outdoor heaters. Furthermore, think about the guest list, social distancing, low volume, and sanitation duties to reduce the chances of spreading COVID. This year would be the perfect opportunity to save money on a Thanksgiving dinner by staying home. Avoid the additional credit card debt associated with this Thanksgiving weekend by seeing extended family and friends on ZOOM.



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