(WSPA) – In a year when inflation is an unwelcome guest at the thanksgiving table, 7NEWS looked for ways you can get around the high costs!
We learned there are plenty of alternatives to costly dinners and decorations if you know where to look.
Tracy Chastain, founder of Yard Party, is basically the Martha Stuart of Greenville.
“Oh, I love it, I get so excited,” she said as she took us shopping for crafts.
Chastain is a pro at decorating on a budget, so she took us to Dollar Tree to pull together ideas you can make for less than $10.
She says you need a few fall staples, all of which she found at the store:
- fun fabric
- cinnamon sticks
- Glue gun sticks with gold shimmer
“Oh my gosh, we have to have this! I’ve got the best ham tip for you when we get back,” she said, picking up a festive Thanksgiving-themed dish towel with a turkey on it that says, “Eat More Ham.”
Before we headed back to Chastain’s, 7NEWS stopped at the home of a Greenville couple that’s been hosting a neighborhood Friendsgiving for 20 years, Pete and Lauren Murray.
The couple said the prices won’t stop them, but with 100 guests invited, they are researching Turkey costs.
“You certainly go to the grocery store and it’s more expensive than it has been in past year,” Pete Murray said.
TheKrazyCouponLady.com compiled Turkey prices from 17 retailers that show an average of $1.80 per pound.
But stores like Aldi and Walmart are rewinding prices to match 2019’s, with turkeys between $1.07 and $1.18 a pound.
Another way to save money is don’t buy too much food. The rule with the turkey size is about one pound per person.
“Having the ability for everybody to bring a side dish has been really helpful on cost,” Murray said.
Chastain has another idea altogether, which brings us back to the dish towel.
“With the Turkey prices so high, consider having some ham,” Chastain said.
Chastain’s recipe calls for bone-in ham, which is less expensive than all fresh turkeys and most frozen, plus two cans of coke. Cover with tinfoil, bake for 2 and 1/2 hours, et voila!
As for table decorations, Chastain said to put a few of those “$1.25” candles on your buffet and add fall stickers.
As for the table, she said don’t buy a centerpiece. Chastain uses a burlap runner, plus a few added fall touches like those $1.25 pack of cinnamon sticks and gourdes on a cake platter for height.
When it comes to the place setting, here’s a priceless idea that costs nothing.
“Have your kids run around outside and grab a pinecone. Get a little piece of paper. Write their name on it, and then you’ve got your perfect little place setting, add a little gold glitter,” Chastain said.
Remember that fabric and twine. Chastain wrapped a toilet paper roll to make it look just like a pumpkin.
“I just try to think of items that are the same shape and, in your home, already,” she said.
There are also quick and easy crafts to keep the kids busy like printing out a turkey coloring page or doing canvas art. She uses frog tape for an extra special look when you peal it off.
Also, only a $1.25 at Dollar Tree.
“Tell them to paint each square a different color. And then you just tear off the tape, draw some eyes and there’s your little fun turkey,” Chastain said.
But her favorite of all: The Gratitude Pumpkin. That’s where the kids and family record what they appreciate on the gourd (real or fake), emphasizing we don’t need to spend more to have enough.
And after 20 years of hosting, the Murrays couldn’t agree more.
“It’s just about being together,” Lauren Murray said.
“Yeah, it’s about the people, and it always has been,” her husband agreed.