So this year the Thanksgiving plans are to stay home and host a small family gathering. I honestly didn’t have any plans on the table for the holiday this year. Things kind of fell into place and so I’m determined to keep it simple. My Thanksgiving holiday prep includes a simple budget. A simple menu and easy shopping plan. 

Thanksgiving Holiday Prep | Budget, Menu and Shopping Tips | Naturally Stellar

Being a transplant family in Nashville, with no family close by, means we either have to throw the kids in the car and travel out of state to visit our fam, or we do something solo. We’ve met some cool people here to celebrate holidays with. But our close friend that we normally have a “Friendsgiving” type of celebration with, has recently moved out of state. 

So the original plan was to just chill at home this year and I’d cook a small meal. No travel. No fuss. Just me, the Hubbs and our kids. A movie marathon and maybe a holiday attraction. Then the plans changed.  This year, my parents “in-love” are coming in from Texas.

We haven’t all been together in a couple of years, so it’s gonna be nice.

No matter how we choose to spend our time off, with friends or family, the key is to always get in some quality time, eat some good food and be thankful for all of our blessings.

Thanksgiving Holiday Prep | Budget, Menu and Shopping Tips | Naturally Stellar

The Budget, The Menu & Shopping For Groceries

Let me share quickly how I set my budget, plan my menu and shop for what we need.

I like to make things as easy as possible on myself since I’m the cook of the household.  I mean, I love throwing down for my fam but I dread spending those 2 days prepping and preparing for Thanksgiving.   So if you’re anything like me or maybe this is your first time hosting/cooking, here’s how I budget, plan my menu & shop for food.

Meal Planning & Menu

I’ve already gone ahead and made a quick menu of what I want to prepare for dinner & dessert.  Nothing fancy at all.  Everyone in my family loves soul food, so it’s a no-brainer, that’s what’s gonna be on the menu this year.   

My mom in love is a pescatarian/vegetarian, so I’m taking that into account as well, making sure that I give everyone something they’ll want.  So for her, I’m making a spinach/cheese quiche, yams, mac & cheese and a veggie dish (undecided). So far, I’ll be cooking for 6 people. We’re still waiting to see if my bro in law is coming. That means I’m preparing my menu to feed 7, just in case. Plus, nobody is ever mad at having extra food so…

At first, I was debating whether to make a turkey or not. I would have been good with a nice spiral ham but the Hubbs has been putting the pressure on me about some turkey & dressing. I mean, crazy peer pressure ya’ll. He’s been ridiculous lol. So I’m gonna make a friggin’ turkey and a LOT of dressing to shut him up.


The Thanksgiving Budget

I set my budget at $75 for 7 people. Shoot at $10.71/per person, that’s a bomb arse dinner deal, right!? Now, that may be low or high for some, but I’m a weekly meal planner, so I know this is doable for me.

Grocery Shopping For Thanksgiving

Next, I made a quick grocery list of everything I would need and went ahead and placed a grocery pick up order through Walmart Grocery, for the bulk of my menu.  That way I could avoid the store, beat the crowds and get my ingredients early.

Now, I normally do my weekly grocery pick up at Kroger, but because it’s a holiday, I’ll go with Walmart to lower my grocery bill. Plus, Walmart offers FREE pick up.

Here’s what I spent in total at Walmart, just on Thanksgiving food.


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Next, I’ll buy my turkey from Kroger because they have a dope sale on birds right now at $.49 cents/lb. Once I do that, I’ll meet my food budget.

(Update: If you missed my Insta Story yesterday. I told ya’ll about how I got a 14 lb. turkey & a family pack of chicken wings for FREE from Kroger. Scroll through the “Family” highlight on my Instagram…you won’t believe what happened.)

Thanksgiving Holiday Prep | Budget, Menu and Shopping Tips | Naturally Stellar

So, like I said, I keep it simple. My advice for hosting a holiday meal is: when in a crunch don’t get all fancy just cook what you know. Count how many heads are coming. Make your ingredients list and opt for grocery pickup to save yourself some time.

So do you get all “extra” for Thanksgiving or do you like to keep it simple?

Leave a comment!

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Founder, E of Women's Lifestyle Blog, Naturally Stellar | Copywriter and Content Creator | I left corporate life 8+ years ago, to pursue my goal of becoming a writer. Boom!! I did that! Now I'm an accomplished copywriter and then some! You should hire me. #RockStarMoms

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