Almost every major festival and holidays has been quieter this year due to the pandemic. The spirit to celebrate has also taken a beating with the second wave of COVID-19 all set to make a comeback leading to a spurt in cases, unemployment and dwindling cash among the citizens.
Festivals are really fun provided you know what your priorities are and how far the budgeting can help in making it a memorable one. For many, Thanksgiving is all about family members flooding the homes but unfortunately this year it is a bit forced to have an intimate meeting.
Well, it may be a somber feeling but remember you are losing some fun and saving a lot on money which is so crucial for survival right now. So, if you’re looking to downscale this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, here are few ways to do it.
1. Set The Menu – With Few Items
This year has been more about how to go big with small things. Thanksgiving need not necessarily be an excessive spread of food. Restrict your menu to just five items it can either be your classic main dish, two favorite sides, and two delicious desserts. Keep a check on your spending that goes on preparing these. The best part is you will have a manageable amount of leftovers and can avoid wastage of food.
2. Hosting A Potluck
While the number of people to invite has been relaxed in addition to those already in your place, take the pressure off by hosting a potluck.
You can still stick to your short menu but appease everyone’s taste buds with minimal cooking and cleaning up yourself. Make sure the coronavirus protocol is being followed strictly by the guests.
3. Thanksgiving Brunch
Try making a Thanksgiving brunch which works well for essential workers who won’t be joining the family for dinner. Your menu can consist of easy-to-make items that give a festive vibe, like omelets, bacon, French toast, or sausage. Options are galore for you to choose from, and hence a satisfyingly delicious brunch menu is very much on the cards that will cater to everyone on your guest list’s palate.
4. Order From A Local Business
During the lockdown, cooking has been a continuous affair and if you are cringing at the thought of cooking then use this Thanksgiving Day as a way to support small local businesses near you. The pandemic has made a lot of people find new ways to survive and the festive season is one of the most common lucrative times for ordering dinner at one of the local restaurants. Make sure to follow any announcements from your favorite food spots. Don’t bother about the money as you can use the emergency fund during such times.
5. Recreate A Holiday Trip From Your Home
COVID-19 has had a great impact on people from traveling and that prevented them to travel freely as they normally would during the holidays, being able to relish and enjoy dishes from other countries have been abandoned, too. However, you can still bring the culture to your own kitchen and table. Whether you’re craving impressive Indian meals, French cuisine, Italian cuisine, there are plenty of flavorful menus out there for you to choose and cook for your guests to deliver something totally unexpected.
6. Choose The Right Bird
Things were normal and different before the pandemic for instance purchasing a large ham or turkey was ideal for a large gathering. But this year few compromises are to be made with minimum guests for Thanksgiving Day. Save money, time, and space in your fridge by buying small quantities of sliced ham or turkey, or maybe pre-cooked turkey cutlets is a good idea
7. Create A Dessert Table
Dessert-making takes a lot of time based on the intricate pies that you want to prepare. Instead, try doing something new and simple with the help of YouTube. Try to whip up lip-smacking desserts with whatever you already have in the fridge or pantry. The options are endless and all yours— churro chips, peanut butter no-bake cookies, fried ice cream, crustless apple pie.
8. Pack Up Your Food
There are still ways to safely get out of the house to short distances on Thanksgiving during the pandemic. Pack up your food in to-go containers, drop in at your friend’s location, and enjoy the dinner. Or if you’re going to spend time with just one other person you can very well park your car in front of a scenic place, and eat in the comfort of your car!
By Karthick V.