The holiday countdown has officially begun, and with just a few weeks until Thanksgiving 2017, it's time to start thinking about how to spend turkey day. If you can't afford a plane ticket home, or you'd rather celebrate with your chosen family instead, these cheap Friendsgiving 2017 party ideas will help you throw an epic Friendsgiving feast without breaking the bank. While some people think getting super spendy is the only way to have a great holiday celebration, Friendsgiving is really about spending quality time with your besties, and it doesn't have to cost you a week's pay.
If you volunteered to host Friendsgiving this year, you're already taking on the biggest role. While the host should be in charge of the main dish, whether that's turkey or tacos, it's totally acceptable to ask guests to pitch in and bring a dish. In my family we were taught to never show up to a party empty handed, and bringing a bottle of wine, a dessert, or a side dish to Friendsgiving 2017 not only takes the emotional, physical, and financial pressure off of the host, it also makes things a lot more fun.
If you're looking to host Friendsgiving 2017 on the cheap, check out these ideas to plan a celebration everyone will cherish for years to come. If you like to be super organized, you can even use a task-managing app like Trello to makes lists and check off your progress.
1. Friendsgiving Potluck
Hosting a potluck for Friendsgiving 2017 is the easiest way to have delicious holiday party on a budget. As the host, decide on a theme for the celebration. You can go traditional with turkey and all the trimmings, or throw out the rule book and cook whatever main dish you fancy.
Then invite your guests and assign each person to bring a specific dish, dessert, or beverage. And, don't forget the ice. Unless you have a fancy fridge that makes its own ice, it's unlikely that you'll have enough in your ice trays to last the whole night.
2. Order A Pre-Prepared Friendsgiving Feast
If you really want to have a stress-free Friendsgiving 2017 feast on the cheap, consider ordering a pre-prepared meal from a store like Sprouts, or your local supermarket. Sprouts offers a full Thanksgiving spread that serves six-to-eight people for $70, which means that if everyone chips in $10 and brings a bottle of wine you'll spend less to host Friendsgiving than your normally spend on lunch.
Just make sure to check with your local market about how far in advance you need to place your order. With all of the money you're saving you can spring for a fun Friendsgiving photo props kit, like this one from Big Dot of Happiness for $14.99, so everyone can get their Instagram snaps.
3. Go Thrifting For Dinnerware
So, you're hosting Friendsgiving 2017 and you've got everything covered except the basic essentials of plates, glasses, and silverware. I hear you. While at one time in my adult life I had a full set of matching dishes, multiple cross country moves — where I have gotten rid of everything I own — have made grown-up dinnerware a pretty low priority for me. If you come to my house, I'm likely to serve you wine in an old (washed out) kimchi jar.
While you might be tempted to get a bunch of disposable dinnerware for Friendsgiving, doing that could actually be pretty pricey, and it's bad for the environment. If you need dishes to serve your feast on, head to a thrift shop, Goodwill, or a dollar store to get what you need. Even if you only have one fork and coffee cup IRL, it's nice to class it up for Friendsgiving, and come on — you need dishes anyways.
4. Plan A Progressive Dinner Party
If you'v never heard of a progressive dinner party, it's a party with several hosts and each course is served in a different home. If you have friends who live in your building or on your block, this is an easy, cheap, and fun way to share the Friendsgiving 2017 responsibilities. A friend and I who share a birthday did this one year, and it was fabulous. We had several other friends who lived on the same street, which made it super easy to put together.
Because she had the smallest apartment, my friend hosted the pre-dinner drinks. Dinner was at my apartment, and we went across the street for dessert and an '80s dance party. You can still ask guests to bring things to contribute. Assign some guests items for cocktails, others side dishes for dinner, and the rest desserts. This keeps costs down for everyone, and cuts down on the amount of dishes each host has to do.
5. Throw A Tapas And Desserts Only Party
Remember, there are no rules for Friendsgiving. You don't have to make a big spread of turkey and potatoes just because that's what your parents did. Break with tradition and make Friendsgiving 2017 a tapas and desserts only celebration.
Ask everyone to bring either an appetizer or a dessert, and a drink to share. In lieu of a sit down dinner, put the tapas and desserts on a buffet table and let people graze. And, don't forget to make a Spotify playlist with everyone's favorite songs to keep the atmosphere fun and festive.
6. Get Creative With Cocktails
One of the most expensive parts of Friendsgiving 2017 can be the drinks. If you as the host want to take responsibility for some of the cocktails and mocktails, there are definitely ways to keep costs down. Instead of getting bottles of wine, grab a few boxes of wine that are equal to three-or-four bottles and pour them in a decanter or a pitcher so no one knows the boxes ever existed.
You can also make two kinds of punch, one with spirits and one without. Use one bottle of your favorite liquor, mix in some punch and put it in a pitcher or bowl with a fruit garnish. For the mocktail drinkers you can mix a few kinds of fruit juice together and present it the same way. Just make sure you label the bowls and pitchers.
7. Ditch The Fancy Decorations
If you're really on a budget, consider ditching the fancy decorations for Friendsgiving 2017. While all hosts want their pad to look as nice as Monica's apartment on Friends, shelling out big bucks for decorations you'll only use for a few days is a waste of money.
If you feel strongly about decking out your place for you celebration, Pinterest has done of creative DIY Friendsgiving decoration ideas that you can make out things you already have at home.
8. Cue Up A Nostalgic Friendsgiving TV Marathon
After dinner and dessert everyone will likely be in a food coma. This is the perfect time to cue up the free entertainment. Between Hulu and Netflix it's easy to find the best Thanksgiving episodes from your favorite shows. While everyone is relaxing after dinner with coffee or a cocktail, start the Friendsgiving 2017 TV marathon. And, don't forget the epic episode of Will & Grace where Jack's mom doesn't know he's gay, and Karen get jealous when he pretends Grace is his girlfriend instead of her.
The bottom line here is that Friendsgiving 2017 doesn't have to be spendy to be special. It's really all about spending time with your favorite friends, many of whom are likely as broke as you are. By combining ideas from this list you can host a holiday celebration that's not only super fun, but that's also guaranteed to give all of your guests the warm and fuzzy feels.