How Are You Spending Thanksgiving, And What Will You Spend?

Adam Freelander: I’m driving to Providence, which should cost about $50 in gas I think. My contribution to Thanksgiving this year is some awesome bread from Brown Paper Bag Baking ( which ran me $13 for three loaves. So $63 give or take.

Adam Frucci: My Thanksgiving plans involve taking the subway 3 stops to my parents apartment, feasting, and then returning home that night. I am responsible for an appetizer, which I am still figuring out, but that’ll be my only expense. So $25, maybe? (Nice life, Frucci. Real nice life.) Haha SORRY. But not really. I put my time in spending 4 days at my parents place and traveling for 8 hours each way. Last year was the first year I didnt have to travel for Thanksgiving and it is THE BEST.

Blair Thornburgh: I’m getting a haircut. I forgot Thursday was Thanksgiving and no one reminded me because Canada. I really want to make dinner, too, but my French-Canadian sublet oven doesn’t work so I’m limited to stovetop cooking, WHICH would be fine except I could only get an appointment with a (cheapie) student stylist at 5:30 which throws a metaphorical wrench into my plans of watching turkey legs simmer all day. But I’ll probably try to make it work, so, $35 + tip for the haircut and around $30 for the food.

Edith Zimmerman: I’m going to extended family’s in DC annndddd spending kind of a lot of money on trains and hotel. Not that my family is mean, I just would prefer hotel. 

Emily Gould: Keith and I are hosting for the first time and hosting is kind of expensive—we got a happy-lifestyle turkey, and I have to admit that I bought a new saucepan just so my mom wouldn’t be scandalized by my former crusty college-era one. But I think it evens out because of not having the expense of traveling.  And they’ll be here for a week and we can hopefully hoodwink them into taking us out.  Yes: overall I am basically EARNING money this Thanksgiving. (Hides a receipt from Whole Foods, where I somehow spent $26 last night on SPICES ALONE.)

Eric Spiegelman: I’m hosting. Fortunately I hosted a couple years ago so I already have all the tablecloths, cloth napkins, fancy dishes, and glassware I need, so this year I’m just buying food. I’m doing I think 5 side dishes? My mom is doing the turkey, my sister is doing dessert.

Ester Bloom: I am going to take a crying baby on her very first plane ride to North Carolina, so I think the only appropriate answer is “priceless.”

Helen Schumacher: I’m joining some friends for a small dinner in Greenpoint. I’m bringing a cheesecake for dessert, which cost me about $20 for a springform pan, since I didn’t own one, and another $20 on groceries. I’ll probably picking up a bottle of something to bring too, so, another $20 for that?

Jane Hu: Canadian Thanksgiving already happened. I live with my parents so Thanksgiving mostly meant them having family friends over on Thanksgiving, and me eating all the cranberry sauce.  I spent no money. Also did you know Canadians do not celebrate Black Thursday? (You mean Black Friday?) Oh, yes, SEE.

Jia Tolentino: I’m flying home to Texas with my boyfriend for the break, and our trip has already become pricey ($600 each for the flight, plus $250 to board our dog because we fear her asphyxiation in Delta’s cargo hold) but will be much less so once we get to Tropical Houston and begin enjoying the great grace of staying with parents who pay for your food, cater to your needs and make the whole couples-holiday-rotation non-confrontational and easy. Aside from a few bar nights, I anticipate this Thanksgiving being one of Minimal Expenditure: maybe $150 total for a six-day trip. I do NOT plan on participating in Black Friday, which I hope we can all agree is the worst. My major goals for the week include eating donuts, avoiding tequila and going to the zoo!

Kase Wickman: I’m going to my boyfriend’s family’s Thanksgiving in Long Island. I’m bringing pies (chocolate-bourbon-pecan and key lime, thankyouverymuch), so I’ll probably spend about $20 on ingredients, including multiple extra boxes of butter, because you can never have too much butter. I’ll also get us bagels and coffee the morning of, which is usually about $14. The joy of my company at a holiday meal is, of course, priceless. Overall: Let’s round up to $40 in case I find a package of novelty cookie dough or something, plus MEMORIES.

Kevin Nguyen: I am currently subletting my friend Ami’s apartment, so I am having Thanksgiving dinner with her friends in the neighborhood and starting my campaign to take over her identity The Talented Mr. Ripley-style. I will probably spend $50 on booze to get people drunk enough to think that I am Ami.

Laura Yan: I’m spending Thanksgiving with my parents in San Diego, and usually we don’t properly celebrate Thanksgiving. I will likely stay home and eat my mom’s (fabulous but turkey-less and pumpkin-less) cooking and maybe go see Skyfall (with a movie ticket voucher). Alternatively, I might crash my friend’s Actual Family Thanksgiving. Either way, I anticipate spending zero dollars.

Lauren Rodrigue: Friendsgiving! Everyone is making one dish and I quickly circumvented turkey duty when it came time to choose what to cook. I’m making chorizo-cornbread stuffing, which I think will probably cost about $12 when I’m done buying all the obscure spices and stuff. I also might chip in on my roommate’s cocktail ingredients budget since I really want to drink 500-600 cocktails since I really think cooking is very scary, especially when you’re cooking for others.

Lindsey Weber: I’m heading home for Thanksgiving and much like every other year, my plan is to spend literally nothing. It’s like one of those juice cleanses, but for money? Maybe this sounds bratty, but I have budgeted for no money to leave my ATM card while I’m in a 5-10 mile radius of my family. My parents happen to have a beautiful On Demand set up, and that shit’s totally free. Happy Thank$giving.

Lisa Lenner : I’m going to my boyfriend’s aunt’s house. It’s the first time in years someone over the age of 26 will be making a turkey and I won’t be arguing about how many types of stuffing to make in a kitchen the size of a shoebox. I also won’t have to buy any of the ingredients since there are actual adults doing the cooking. I will bring a dessert and maybe flowers—all in totaling less than $40.

Logan Sachon: I’m going to a friend’s house and making my mom’s sweet potatoes, which will probably cost me $40 because I have to buy every single ingredient because I own no food. But I’m actually more excited about Thanksgiving eve, because I’m going to see the last Twilight movie. Another $40. Or $20? $15. How ever much movie tickets cost in New York. I’m also looking forward to watching many episodes of How I Met Your Mother because I dearly love to laugh.

Matt Langer: I spent a couple hundred on a case of wine that I’m trucking around with me over 4 days to my 17 families.

Miranda Popkey: For the second year in a row I’m hosting (at Nozlee’s apartment while she’s out of town!), with other (metaphorical) orphans, what I’m told is a Felicity Thanksgiving, though I’ve never seen an actual episode of the show. (This is nothing to brag about.) I’m collaborating with two other people on the main dishes, and guests are bringing sides, so I would be surprised if I spent more than $30 or $40, including alcohol. (Then again any time I spend money it’s kind of a surprise. I always imagine I’ll be able to keep it forever!) Pros of cooking your own dinner: you get to make what you want (chicken, not turkey). Cons of inviting people over: I expect that my desire to huddle in front of a computer screen and watch a poor-quality football stream will be met with resistance.

Nozlee Samadzadeh-Hadidi: I’m at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving for the first time since 2006, and it’s kind of nuts how fun it is to indulge in various cooking fantasies (turducken done right, cranberry sauce with juniper berries, etc) without having to foot the bill. So I’ll be spending nothing!

William Foster: I’ll be hunting for mushrooms on the Oregon coast and wishing the Tillamook Cheese Factory was open to serve me a grilled cheese sammie.


17 Comments / Post A Comment

Lily Rowan (#70)

I’m with Adam Frucci — Thanksgiving is possibly the best part of having moved back closer to family. I bet they’ll pick me up tomorrow to head to the extended-family meal, for which I am also bringing an appetizer. And I will also spend the night in my own bed, praise the lord.

Haha, everyone kinda wussed out, and there’s lots of good reasons to. (It’s weird to be like “I’M SPENDING $800!” when Thanksgiving is actually about helping people.) So yeah, putting on a Thanksgiving can cost a lot of money, but let’s not forget that you get to eat that food for like three days, plus you’re feeding a whole bunch of people. Also then you guilt-give money.

@Choire Sicha@facebook hha yes the last time i was integral in a thanksgiving hosting situation, i think i spent …. $300? on credit, naturally.

OhMarie (#299)

@Choire Sicha@facebook Yes, I am spending next to nothing for actual Thanksgiving, other than the gas to drive 90 minutes to my aunt’s house, but I hosted a dinner for my friends on Saturday and it cost SO MUCH. Probably about as much as an expensive normal grocery trip.

It almost cost an extra hundred bucks, because my husband decided we needed a new roasting pan, but turns out none of the ones at the store will fit in our oven. Thanks tiny oven!

smack (#307)

@Choire Sicha@facebook YES it is really expensive. Booze alone in the hundreds of dollars. Esp. if people are staying with you. And if your parents stay with you then there is X number of dollars spent to make sure your mom doesn’t think you are disgusting, aka new guest bathroom towels

kellyography (#250)

I am making baked mac and cheese for a friendsgiving. The host is making chicken, some type of pie, and her grandma’s famous stuffing. Like last year, I will help make the mashed potatoes because I cannot cook but I can mash (and love potatoes). I assume there will be vegetables of some kind but do people really eat those on Thanksgiving?

MuffyStJohn (#280)

I’m going home for a family Thanksgiving – first time in more years than anyone can remember. There will be 2 turkeys, 2 kinds of stuffing, 2 kinds of potatoes, 4 types of pie, no green vegetables, and 8 people. My only responsibility is surviving the horrible train ride up to Pennsylvania at 5:00 tonight.

I will spend nothing, and the ladies of the house will bide our time through Black Friday by holing up in a spa and getting mani/pedis together, courtesy of Mama St. John.

rubiksboob (#1,185)

THANK YOU KASE WICKMAN. Never too much butter! All 3 people that live in my house bought butter in preparation for Thanksgiving and now there is 4 pounds of it in my house.

BornSecular (#2,245)

I am going to two family Thanksgivings (whoop for not having to host!) and I am bringing some rolls to the first one (because I feel guilty not contributing something) and taking the leftovers to the second one!

j-i-a (#746)

I am Thankful for the donuts tequila zoo tag and am going to do my best to write a piece seamlessly incorporating both that and “juicy julie”

@j-i-a I am going to Houston to see family also! Donuts will almost certainly be involved. Have a fun time!

j-i-a (#746)

@Punk-assBookJockey You too! And ahh yeah seriously there is nothing like the Htown donut game in terms of fluffiness, perfection. I’m at the zoo right now! Goal 1 achieved

LHOOQ (#1,634)

Ok, I’ll go. I’m hosting (but at someone else’s house) and I spent/will spend £100 on food and drink, to feed 17 people. It’s about what I expected. I don’t think anyone will try to give me money but I wouldn’t accept it. I’ve just worked out that this is the 10th year that I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, 5th in a row (expat — no one else is going to do it!).

Megoon (#328)

Hey y’all! My husband and I are spending around $700 on plane tickets for this four-day weekend. Good grief. It would have been closer to a thousand, but his mom felt bad and gave us $300 towards the flights, which was incredibly generous of her. She also already purchased ingredients for the scalloped potatoes I’m bringing to the giant family gathering. When I say giant, I mean that the “kid’s table” is for people under forty.

Oh also, Emily Gould, who knows if you’re reading these comments, but check out Sullivan St. Tea & Spice Company! You can buy tiny quantities of every spice on earth for a dollar or two each.

Logan….was that a real last-half paragraph? You’re excited about the Twilight movie? And How I Met Your Mother episodes? I don’t even know you anymore! WHAT IS HAPPENING.

hunezna (#1,009)

I had Canada thanksgiving a long while ago and spent 10$ on Art Is In bread(My old roomate comes to Ottawa just for this… definitley not to visit family) and about 15$ on potato making stuff… but today I got so depressed looking at every single website and seeing stuffing and gravy and potatoes that I damn well made myself some stuffing and gravy and potatoes. And I gorged and then was blissfully happy and didn’t fight with any family members. The End.

julebsorry (#1,572)

SO EXPENSIVE. $460 for a week of car rental, and then about $300 for gas and tolls. Still cheaper than plane tickets for me and my husband (and boarding the dog – with a car, we can bring him). Not to mention money spent on food, booze, and a younger relative who wrecked her car and plead for donations from family to get it fixed. Ahh, togetherness. We did come back with about 6 pounds of venison shank and ground venison, though – so not a total loss :)

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