A hybrid of the words friend and Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving originally signified a makeshift meal between friends who found themselves far from home during Thanksgiving.

Today, many treat Friendsgiving as a second, slightly more casual celebration, either the weekend before or after the official holiday. However, hosting a single Thanksgiving can be pricey enough on its own! Luckily, a great Friendsgiving doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

Read on to learn how you can cut costs during your Friendsgiving celebration.

Make it a potluck

A surefire way to reduce your holiday expenses is to make your gathering a potluck, in which each guest supplies a dish. Not only does this drastically reduce your food bill, but it also gets everyone involved. Plus, it ensures there’s something for everyone, and it makes the day feel even more collaborative and fun.

Shop around

Many stores run promotions around the holidays offering discounted—or even free—turkeys after you spend a certain amount. Do a quick search online to see promotions in stores near you.

Go frozen

If you’re hosting on a budget, consider purchasing a frozen turkey; they’re much more cost-effective than their fresh counterparts. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, frozen turkeys averaged at just 83 cents per pound in 2018, which is significantly less than the $1.25 per pound of fresh turkeys during the same year.

Choose a later date

One of the best ways to plan a cheap Friendsgiving is to choose a date after Thanksgiving. After the big day, most of the staple ingredients will be heavily discounted, so you can save significantly. Plus, you and your guests can even repurpose the leftovers from other Thanksgiving meals you were undoubtedly sent home with!

Feast with your friends

If you implement these tips, you’ll be well on your way to hosting a fantastic Friendsgiving on a budget. And, don’t forget: Friendsgiving is meant to be causal and fun. So, enjoy your dinner, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. After all, it’s not about the cost of the meal; it’s about the people you share it with.

If you and your friends celebrate Friendsgiving every year, another way to save is to plan ahead. By opening a separate savings account for holiday spending, you can be prepared for when the holidays come. At Wintrust, we offer several savings accounts to help you achieve your financial goals, no matter the season.