This Is How Much Americans Will Spend on Thanksgiving

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After more than a year of lockdowns and social distancing, Thanksgiving celebrations are — for the most part — back in action. So much so that Americans are planning to spend a pretty penny on Thanksgiving dinner, according to recent research.


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A new study of 2,045 Americans conducted by LendingTree, an online lending marketplace, found that Americans are planning to spend an average of $391.60 to host Thanksgiving in 2021. (This includes home decor, drinks, and food.) Specifically, the findings indicate that millennial hosts are expected to drop an average of $461.20, while baby boomers are expected to spend an average of $232.40.

Moreover, the study found that "hosts are less likely to stick to a budget this year, possibly due to uncertainties around supply chain shortages." LendingTree even determined that almost 50% of hosts expect to go into debt to pay for Thanksgiving festivities by using credit cards, "buy now, pay later" features, and in some cases, personal loans.

To learn more about the study's findings, visit the LendingTree website here.

How to save money on Thanksgiving dinner:

Understandably, the rising cost of food can make it difficult to host Thanksgiving on a budget. But with a bit of planning and creativity, it ​is​ possible to save some cash:

  • Shop your pantry and build dishes around things you already have, like canned beans or wild rice.
  • Plan the menu around your supermarket's sales.
  • Limit the menu to just a few dishes.
  • Reduce or omit meat, which is often the most expensive part of any dish.
  • Reuse veggie scraps to make broth.
  • Buy day-old bread to make stuffing or bread pudding.
  • Instead of buying pricey baked goods, try to make treats from scratch.
  • Ask guests to bring side dishes, appetizers, and/or desserts.
  • If possible, keep your guest list short.

Hopefully, with these tips under your belt, you'll be able to reduce costs this year. Happy Thanksgiving!


Kirsten Nunez is a writer and author who focuses on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, Martha Stewart, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.