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Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have. And it’s wonderful showing loved ones how much we appreciate them. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re trying to to get through the end of the year with your pocketbook intact!

For Americans wanting to buy a house in 2017, it’s even more important to keep your finances in order. Maintaining a good credit score is an important part of obtaining a mortgage, and carrying large balances on credit cards can have a negative impact on your credit.

Thus, for soon-to-be homebuyers, 2016 could be a great year to host Thanksgiving on a budget. Here are some tips to pull this off:

Have a potluck Thanksgiving dinner
Instead of being the family hero who cooks everything, embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving by holding a potluck dinner. Ask your family members (and friends) to each bring a dish—this will save you lots of money, and provide your family with leftovers to enjoy over the next few days.

Create a shopping list
Instead of Thanksgiving grocery shopping on the fly, plan out what you need, write a list, and stick to it. You can save more money by choosing grocery stores with sales.

Make your own items
Most common Thanksgiving foods can be made from scratch with items you already have (such as leftover sliced bread). Making your own foods can can save you money (instead of paying for packaging), is healthier, and usually tastes better. For simple recipes that save money without sacrificing flavor, check out the the Food Network’s money-saving-meal experts.

Choose your favorite dishes
One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is the variety of tasty foods. But in reality, we can only eat so much. Focus on making your favorite dishes only, and ask your family members (or friends) to bring their favorites.

Decorate with items you already have
Many families with children decorate their homes for Thanksgiving. This too can be done affordably. Look for items in your closets that could be creatively used for Thanksgiving decorations, or buy a few versatile Thanksgiving pieces that can be used every year.

You don’t have to break your bank account to enjoy Thanksgiving
In 2016, Thanksgiving is a holiday best known for the “three F’s”: family, food and football. You can enjoy Thanksgiving’s great qualities without spending lots of money. This can help you stay on track if you’re planning on buying a home in the new year.


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