U.S. Markets closed

9 Thanksgiving Dishes That Cost Under $1 Per Serving

The iconic Thanksgiving dinner typically includes family, friends and a rather involved -- not to mention expensive -- dinner. Last Thanksgiving, the average meal cost $49.04, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. With the holiday shopping season starting before the turkey has even thawed, a Thanksgiving meal is just one more place consumers can cut costs to keep holiday budgets afloat.

Luckily, you can do this without making any sacrifices. Below are nine traditional Thanksgiving dishes that can cost as little as $1 or less per serving.

1. Mashed Potatoes With Garlic and Chives

-- White potato: $2.68 for 4-pound recipe

-- Unsalted butter: $0.40 for 1/2 stick

-- Milk: $0.47 for 2 cups

-- Salt: $0.01 for 2 tablespoons

-- Garlic: $0.18 for 3 cloves

-- Chives: $0.33 for 1 tablespoon

Servings: 8Cost per serving: $0.51

Total cost as low as: $4.08

2. Simple Pumpkin Pie

The Filling

-- Pumpkin purée: $1.49 for one 15-ounce can

-- Eggs: $0.33 for 2

-- Sweetened condensed milk: $1.49 for one 14-ounce can

-- Pumpkin pie spice: $0.15 for 1 tablespoon

The Crust

-- Flour: $0.09 for 1 1/4 cups

-- Salted butter: $0.80 for 1 stick

-- Salt: $0.03 for 1/4 tablespoon

-- Cold water: $0 for 3 to 4 tablespoons

Servings: 8Cost per serving: $0.55

Total cost as low as: $4.38

3. A Cheaper, Alternative Turkey Dish -- Turkey Meatballs

-- Onion: $0.34 for 1 small onion, yellow for sharper flavor, white for milder flavor

-- Garlic: $0.12 for 2 cloves

-- Vegetable oil: $0.10 for 4 tablespoons

-- Turkey Italian sausage: $3.89 for 1 1/4 pounds

-- Parsley: $0.17 for 1/4 bunch

-- Bread crumbs: $0.24 for 3/4 cup of bread crumbs

-- Egg: $0.16 for 1 large egg (white only)

-- Parmesan cheese: $0.53 for 1/4 cup

-- Flour: $0.05 for 1/3 cup

Servings: 8Cost per serving: $0.70

Total cost as low as: $5.60

4. Roasted Root Vegetables

-- Red potato: $0.44 for 3/4 pound

-- Sweet potato: $1.10 for 1 pound

-- Turnip: $2.12 for 1 1/2 pounds

-- Onion: $0.34 for 1 small onion

-- Carrot: $0.54 for 1/2 pound

-- Garlic: $0.24 for 4 cloves

-- Olive oil: $0.20 for 2 tablespoons

-- Salt: $0.06 for 1/2 tablespoon

-- Black pepper: $0.06 for 1/4 tablespoon

-- Rosemary: $0.05 for 1 tablespoon

-- Parsley: $0.35 for 1/2 bunch

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.92

Total cost as low as: $5.50

5. Cranberry Sauce

-- Cranberries: $1.99 for 12-ounce bag

-- Orange: $0.50 for 1 medium orange

-- Lime: $0.23 for 1 medium lime

-- Sugar: $0.09 for 1/2 cup

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.47

Total cost as low as: $2.80

6. Mushroom Gravy

-- Mushrooms: $1.59 for 8 ounces

-- Garlic: $0.12 for 2 cloves

-- Vegetable oil: $0.08 for 3 tablespoons

-- Flour: $0.03 for 3 tablespoons

-- Vegetable bouillon: $0.23 for 2 cubes

-- Salt: $0.06 for 1/2 tablespoon

-- Black Pepper: $0.06 for 1/4 tablespoon

-- Water: $0 for 2 cups

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.36

Total cost as low as: $2.17

7. Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

-- Butternut squash: $2.46 for 2 medium squashes

-- Olive oil: $0.20 for 2 tablespoons

-- Baby spinach: $0.50 for 3 cups

-- Dried cranberries: $0.45 for 1/3 cup

-- Salt: $0.06 for 1/2 tablespoon

-- Black Pepper: $0.12 for 1/2 tablespoon

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.63

Total cost as low as: $3.79

8. Chicken and Pumpkin Soup

-- Pumpkin purée: $1.49 for one 15-ounce can

-- Chicken: $1.50 for 1 breast

-- Black beans: $0.89 for one 15-ounce can

-- Onion: $0.34 for 1 small onion

-- Garlic: $0.12 for 2 cloves

-- Olive oil: $0.10 for 1 tablespoon

-- Corn: $0.24 for 1/2 cup of kernels

-- Chipotle pepper: $0.50 for 1 pepper

-- Cumin: $0.15 for 1 tablespoon

-- Salt: $0.06 for 1/2 tablespoon

-- Parsley: $0.35 for 1/2 bunch

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.96

Total cost as low as: $5.74

9. Apple Walnut Stuffing

-- Stuffing mix: $2.20 for 2 boxes

-- Golden apple: $0.82 for 2 apples

-- Celery: $0.75 for 3 stalks

-- Onion: $0.34 for 1 small onion

-- Salted butter: $0.40 for 1/2 stick

-- Walnuts: $0.75 for 1/4 cup

Servings: 6Cost per serving: $0.88

Total cost as low as: $5.26

Keep in mind that food prices might vary and are subject to change based on the season, availability, purchase location and brand. Buying generic brands can maximize savings. For many of these dishes, there is plenty of wiggle room to add in a few more ingredients and still be well under the $1 mark.

It can be easy to let the anticipation of a glorious feast overshadow the reason for it. Remember, you're not getting a day off work just to stuff yourself and watch football; you're taking the time to come together with family and friends, give thanks for the lessons and opportunities you've had over the last year and celebrate the people and blessings in your life.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to spend time with those you love this Thanksgiving. Turkey included.

Edward Stepanyants contributed to this report. Recipes are inspired by dishes found on allyou.com and budgetbytes.com, and pricing was determined by consulting the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Foodcoop.com.

Christina Lavingia is an assistant editor and writer for GOBankingRates.com, a source for the best deposit and loan products, personal finance news and more.



More From US News & World Report