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Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving During COVID

COVID-19 is forcing many Americans to rethink their holiday plans. Traveling and having large family gatherings is likely not feasible for most people this year. However, that doesn’t mean the holidays are canceled completely! ACCC has some tips on how to have a fun, budget-friendly Thanksgiving during COVID. This will help you avoid credit card debt.

Use our credit counseling tips to pull off Thanksgiving during Covid.

Use our credit counseling tips to pull off Thanksgiving during Covid.

Tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving During COVID 

The holidays will look different this year because of COVID, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time and stay on budget! Given that large family gatherings are not possible this year, you won’t have to buy as much food. Even though the holiday is happening on a smaller scale this year, many of our same Thanksgiving budgeting tips still apply. 

Celebrate with your household only.

One of the main differences between Thanksgiving in previous years and Thanksgiving during COVID is the number of people with whom you can celebrate. Flying across the country to spend the holiday with your grandparents or other extended family is not recommended. The safer option is to celebrate with your immediate household only. Of course, you can always get your extended family on a Zoom or Skype call so you can celebrate virtually!

Though it may be sad that you can’t see your relatives this year, on the bright side, you’re saving money on the cost of a plane ticket, rental car, hotel, or other travel-related expenses that you would have had otherwise. You can use the money you saved to pay down credit card debt you may have accumulated during COVID, or to bulk up your emergency fund!

Stick to a list.

Before you go grocery shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner, plan out what you are making ahead of time. Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need and stick to that list. Don’t buy extraneous items, especially if you’re having a smaller Thanksgiving than usual. You don’t want to buy food just for it to go bad in your fridge. Also, when you make your grocery list, check for coupons. If you have a rewards card with your local grocery store, check their app for coupons as well that you can load onto your card before you go.

Don’t buy new outfits/decorations.

Wear and use what you already have. It’s tempting to get new outfits and decorations every year, but if this year has been financially straining for you already, don’t buy anything unnecessary. Your family won’t care that you’re wearing the same sweater you wore last year!

Final Tips for a Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving During COVID

Remember what the holiday is really about. Think about the things that you are thankful for, even if this year hasn’t gone as planned. Enjoy spending time with your family and talking about what you’re grateful for. Thanksgiving during COVID may be different, but it can still be a wonderful celebration! (While social distancing, of course!)

If you are struggling to pay off debt due to COVID-19, ACCC may be able to help. Schedule a free credit counseling session today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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