We are now in that holiday stretch, after Halloween and not quite Christmas. The most beloved of family holiday’s to start the season is Thanksgiving. If you’re single it’s going to be stressful enough if you show up unattached with Uncle Joe and Auntie Mary asking why is a young person like you still single? However, the cost to travel and pay food bills to stay home can become a bit pricey.
So here’s how to manage it all. My biggest tip is to start your planning early, like now. If you know where you want to go and who you want to go with, or not go with, keep that in mind. And know it’s perfectly okay not to go anywhere. Holidays are stressful so if it keeps the stress levels down by staying at home or having a friends-giving then do so but make the decision soon. If you are traveling start planning flights, hotel, car and everything as soon as possible because rates will only rise as the dates get closer and that only hurts your pocket, especially since you are the only party shelling out the money. The few times you should probably not be the only party paying out is if you are invited somewhere. Perhaps you’re with a good friend as their plus one. If it is an out of state affair and it is out of your budget, discuss with the person inviting you about how you can divide the cost so that you can still accompany them while also not breaking your bank either. Doing that early enough can help to find a resolution. If one can’t be reached you may have to find a more affordable plan with you and your friend going separate ways, you both parting happily. As for parting happily, if you know darn well you are not going to so-and-so house for whatever reason you should be kind enough and tell them early to avoid social karma and keeps you in good graces with everyone. Along with planning early use travel sites to compare prices and try to get yourself the best deal possible. I’m a big fan of couponing sites like RetailMeNot.com to add an extra deal if possible.
If you don’t plan on traveling or doing a Friendsgiving and just want to keep it simple and stay home with a table for one, there are two ways to do that on turkey day. First, be smart and see who has the best holiday spread for your buck. Restaurants will be open and some will have Thanksgiving specials and spreads. If you want a more traditional sit down dinner there are also deals for that so that you can enjoy a good hardy meal. It’s also good to be mindful of the times. It may be easier to get a table and less crowded during an earlier time frame say, 1-4pm. You can also take come a light dessert for later to enjoy in the privacy of your own home. If you’re going to make your own meal, some cheaper but hearty options outside of the singles persons diet of pizza and Chipotle, are Cornish hens or oven roasted chicken breast. There are plenty of simple recipes for those dishes and they can be purchased in advanced and frozen and thawed a few days prior to cooking. In addition, if cooking is not your forte and going out isn’t your thing there maybe a few delivery places open. Before calling those numbers though, find out if you are the only single friend in town too who didn’t want to travel with no family nearby. Try giving some of those friends a call. This way you can see who can host and everyone can come together and bring one dish and have a Friendsgiving which is better than takeout and still quite affordable if everyone brings one dish.