In Life at Home, Tips & Advice

Ready to Butterball on a Budget?

Friends celebrating at an outdoor dinner party

Everyone wants to throw a Friendsgiving that would make Monica Geller proud. A beautiful homecooked buffet. A flag football game shared among friends. A table surrounded by wonderful friendships and memories that will make Thanksgiving history. While Monica can manage three types of potatoes, not everyone shares her large Friendsgiving budget. With Christmas shopping just around the corner, Friendsgiving is not the time to break the bank. However, there are many methods to throw an affordable, Pinterest-worthy Friendsgiving that even the cast of Friends would be proud to attend.

Here are some ways to keep Friendsgiving affordable, while celebrating all that you are thankful for with the ones you love:

Set a Budget

Before stepping foot into Target, make sure to sit down and establish a budget. Determine what you can afford to spend on food, drinks and decorations. This will help assist in the decision-making process and avoid overspending. Some items to include on your Friendsgiving budget include: drinks, appetizers, the main dish, side dishes, desserts, decoration, paper plates, plastic silverware, cups and napkins (for easy clean up).

Potluck All the Way

As you can imagine from the list above, even with a set budget, Friendsgiving dinner can become quite expensive. Especially if you live a “more the merrier” lifestyle. However, this dinner isn’t about cooking for all of your friends. It’s about everyone coming together, celebrating the holiday season and giving thanks. Offer up your home, prepare the main dish and ask your friends to bring the appetizers, side dishes, desserts and drinks. Many times, guests will ask, upon invitation, if they can help by bringing anything. Don’t be afraid to take them up on the offer!

Make a List and Check It Twice

Once you decide on embracing a potluck meal, make a list of all the wanted Friendsgiving dishes and ask your guests what they would like to contribute. By creating a GoogleDoc or posting a list on your Facebook Event, you can help create a balanced meal and avoid having 5 types of bread, 7 desserts and no vegetables.

Be Food Conscious

Food allergies are not something to be taken lightly. Did you know it is estimated that 15 million Americans suffer with food allergies? There is nothing like walking into a potluck only to find that the only thing you can eat is the food dish in your hands. Or even worse, for one of your guests to discover they are allergic to a dish after taking a bite. Food allergies can range anywhere from nut allergies, lactose intolerance to celiac disease. To ensure all your family and friends can enjoy your Friendsgiving fest safely, it is best to find out all food allergies and alert everyone who will be in attendance.

Let’s Talk Turkey

While offering a large variety of meats may be appreciated by your guests, stick to the traditional turkey. During the holidays, many grocery stores run holiday promotions where they offer free or discounted turkeys with every set amount you spend. Do your research, compare ads and promotions and purchase the turkey that best fits your budget and guest list.


Instead of filling your cart with adorable, yet expensive decorations at Party City, or accidently blowing the budget on Etsy, opt out for more cost-effective methods. Spend some time browsing through Pinterest to gain inspiration and ideas. There is no reason your Friendsgiving celebration can’t be pin worthy and affordable. Homemade Thanksgiving Pie Garland makes for the perfect Instagram photo backdrop. Or buy a white plastic pumpkin and have all your guests write what they are thankful for. This makes a beautiful, yet sentimental centerpiece for all your future Friendsgivings.

There is no reason you can’t throw an epic Friendsgiving without eating Ramen throughout December. Set a budget, invite your friends and enjoy your Friendsgiving celebration!

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