Host Thanksgiving Like A CHAMP + The BEST Stores To Find What You Need


Hello, my loves!

How have you been? Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? I am in full-on Thanksgiving Prep mode, and if you’re hosting you’re first Thanksgiving, you may be too. This past week I’ve been focusing on taking inventory. Essentially understanding what I have and what I need to buy. So, I thought I would walk you through my process!

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, I hope you’ve downloaded my Countdown to Thanksgiving Planner 2018. If not, you can find it here. Taking inventory is something I DESPERATELY needed to do this year. It had been so long since I’ve hosted any sort of holiday. And most of my serveware and decor I owned were still in boxes until Kevin and I moved into this house back in March (Check out the journey here). I also needed to take inventory so that I could have a better understanding of what we actually need so that we didn’t end up overspending.

If any of these resonate with you, then please continue reading!

Taking Inventory

So, what does “Taking Inventory” entail?  If any of you have ever worked retail, your mind may be flooded with memories of counting every single item in your retail store until the wee hours of the morning. It can be miserable. You essentially have to tear your whole store apart just to put it back together again within a matter of 8 hours! No thank you.

This inventory isn’t nearly as complicated or time consuming. If you’ve downloaded my Countdown to Thanksgiving Planner then you already have the Taking Inventory Sheet. Here you’ll start by looking at your serveware and decor. Afterall, you want to make sure you have a bowl big enough for the mashed potatoes!

I start by making a list of everything I’m responsible for making on Turkey Day. This isn’t your grocery list, we will get to that later this week. Once you write down all of the dishes you will be making, the next step is to write down the dishes in which they will be served -- serveware. An even better way to do this (what I did!) is to take a picture of each serving dish you have and label the picture with what is going to be served in that dish. Use your list as a guide to make sure you’ve accounted for everything you’re making. I loved this idea when I thought of it! Really great for those of us who are more visual.

Decor is a little simpler. I typically scour Pinterest to get ideas. See what I have and may be able to repurpose, and make a list of what I’d like to get. Decor is not the place to blow your budget, so don’t go Pinterest crazy on me. Conserve your resources for the important things.

Pricing and Shopping

Before I spend any money, I always compare prices. I want to make sure that I don’t overspend because like most, we are on a budget. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t host a killer Thanksgiving, so don’t worry. It just means we have to be a little more thrifty!

Once I started comparing prices, I realized that it might actually be cheaper to rent some of the things we needed instead of buying them! Like, hundreds of dollars cheaper! I don’t have service for 16 people, and I didn’t want to use paper plates, nothing wrong with paper plates, just not my jam. So, instead I checked out some local rental companies and found out that I would rent dishes for $0.50 per dish. That’s $8 for a set of 16, not too bad if you ask me, and WAY cheaper than buying new dishes.

Here are some examples of the things we are renting vs buying this year:




Silverware, and



Roasting Pan

Collapsable Tables


2 Serving Dishes, and

Table Centerpiece (You’ll see that later this week!)

I love renting versus buying all at once because it means you don’t have to make panic purchases and end up with things that you might not love next year. It gives you time to invest and grow your collection all while being able to host family/friend gatherings.

Where to Buy

Okay. So you’ve decided what you’re buying. Yay! Now it’s time to start shopping. You don’t have to break the bank when you’re looking for this stuff. I promise. You can find beautiful homeware and decor at reasonable prices. Some of my favorite places to shop for these items are:

Home Goods


At Home



Hobby Lobby, and


Let’s chat about that last one for am moment. Did you realize that thrift stores and second hand stores are a GREAT place to stock up on the things you need for the holidays. Sure, you might not find everything you need, but there are some really nice thrift stores that carry serveware and holiday decor for a fraction of the price you would pay in a department store.

I truthfully had not been in many thrift stores until I started getting ready for the holidays, and man! I wish I had been going to them sooner! There are so many people that get rid of things that they no longer want even though the items are in great condition. I encourage you to check it out. Even if you don’t find something for Thanksgiving, you may get some good ideas for the upcoming holidays!

Well, there you have it! My tips for Taking Inventory so that you can confidently host Thanksgiving this year! I hope you are enjoying my Countdown to Thanksgiving Planner this year! Tell me, where do you shop to pick-up the items you need for Thanksgiving? Are there some great spots that I’ve left off of my list? Leave me a comment below and let me know!