Friendsgiving 101: How To Plan A Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving With Your Friends

photo by  Be Funky

photo by Be Funky

The concept of “Friendsgiving” has really exploded over the past few years, and it’s such a fun way to get together with old and new friends and celebrate all you have to be grateful for in a relaxed setting. Whether you’ve never been to a Friendsgiving and only watched it on Friends or have been hosting one for years, this guide will help you bring fresh, new ideas to the party and stay organized for putting together one excellent evening to celebrate with your friends.

Get Organized

Make a group chat or Facebook event to invite all your friends and figure out the details: date, time, and where the party will be. Offer to host in your space if you are comfortable with that, or ask the group if someone is willing to have the party at their apartment. Apps like GroupMe and Slack have polling options to find a date that works best for everyone, or just pick a date and create a Facebook event. Invite old and new friends, as this is a great opportunity to have people from different groups in your life come together and connect. If you’re hosting and are okay with your friends bringing their friends, extend the invite (and feel free to limit it to 1-2 additional guests per person, for example).


Fear not: if you’re hosting, there’s no need to feel pressure to cook a full-fledged Thanksgiving meal for all your friends. Make a signup spreadsheet to share with everyone, and have slots available for appetizers, side dishes, desserts, drinks, as well as miscellaneous items such as plates, napkins, cups, utensils, and decorations. While a turkey might be the traditional main dish, you could always opt for a store-bought pre-cooked option, try something less traditional like a rotisserie chicken, or ask a friend (or two) to all help roast a turkey the day of.


This goes along with delegating, but there should be no pressure on just one person to cover all the food or drinks. You could have everybody be responsible for what they’re bringing, have everyone chip in a set amount and do the shopping yourself, or Venmo request everyone after all the shopping has been done (but give everyone fair warning so they know what to expect). For the more expensive items, like the turkey or alcohol, multiple people could “sign up” to share the monetary burden. Just because you may be hosting or signed up to bring an expensive item, don’t be afraid to ask for help with expenses!


Whatever it is you’re cooking or bringing, make sure to do some research and leave time to prepare everything before the party. Many dishes can be prepared ahead of time and then baked on the spot. Be sure to check with other guests if their dishes will require oven or stove time so that the host can coordinate cook times!


After planning and prepping, it’s time to execute an awesome and inspiring party. Friendsgiving is meant to bring your friends and loved ones together and demonstrate your gratitude for one another. Put on an empowering playlist, decorate your space with pumpkins and gourds, and get to work on enjoying your first (or fifth) annual Friendsgiving.  

Do you have any tips for planning a Friendsgiving? Share with us in the comments below!