Experts offer tips to saving money before Thanksgiving meal

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - While many people are already starting to tackle their to-do list for Christmas, experts say Thanksgiving won't be forgotten.

Although you might have your Christmas decorations up around the house, most Americans will still wake up early on Thanksgiving to start cooking and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Christmas may be the most expensive holiday of the year, but experts say Thanksgiving will still cost families a pretty penny.

LendEDU recently released its Thanksgiving consumer spending report and found that Americans will spend hundreds of dollars on the holiday.

According to the report, the average American anticipates spending $186 on Thanksgiving this year, which is an increase from last year's report.

On average, Americans will spend $33 on travel expenses, whether it is gas money or flights for Thanksgiving.

AAA estimated that 50.9 million Americans journeyed at least 50 miles away from home last Thanksgiving, while 4 million flew and 1.5 million took a train.

The rest of the money will be spent on food and drinks.

“It is important to first set a budget and then get creative on how to stick to it,” Chris Tuck, from SJK Wealth Management, told LendEDU. “Asking people to bring sides is always a big help. When building your budget, put a cost to each dish you plan to make and each accessory or feature (like tablecloths, flowers, etc.) and then start eliminating them to hit your budget.”

Chef Jonathan Waxman told CNBC that there are a few ways to cut down on Thanksgiving costs.

Waxman says that you can save money by buying seasonally, buying in bulk, and checking prices.

“Turkey is the one thing that makes sense to study the prices; they do go up and down,” Waxman says.

He also suggests cooking dishes from scratch rather than buying prepared food because it will be much cheaper and can be a fun event for the family.

Waxman says you need to stay organized and go to the store with a list, which will help keep you on track.

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