As you sit down for Thanksgiving this year and look around the table, don't be surprised to see fewer people or desserts for that matter. A new survey says nearly 40% of American families will be cutting back on expenses for Thanksgiving this year because of economic reasons.

The survey by First Command Financial Services also says that biggest change will be in the number of people coming to dinner. One in five are planning to limit this year's Thanksgiving to only family members.

Coupons.com household savings expert Jeanette Pavini told CNN-Money that "people are looking at areas in their life where they have some control over the spending and Thanksgiving is one of those areas where people can go overboard.”

Americans are finding themselves trending toward the lower end of the expenses. And one quarter of the survey respondents said despite a recovery, this new mentality marks a permanent change in perspective. "We've been seeing a real move towards a more frugal approach to spending, not only in holiday spending, but in general," said Mark Leach, a spokesman for First Command.

Not so lavish

0:00 /1:09Ready for holiday shopping?

Marketing and media consultant Joe Cockrell says he used to throw lavish Thanksgiving parties for 150 people, but not this year. In the past, he said, "it was a time to gather with friends before the crazy holiday season hits. Last year it was complete with bartenders, catered food and a D.J."

Since then, Cockrell was put on notice at his firm and had to short-sell his condo because his new business was slow get off the ground. With a much smaller budget for extravagant entertaining this year, Cockrell is scaling back to just a few close friends for what he calls a "B.Y.O.B” get-together. I wonder if the second "B” stands for "booze" or "bird?”  

Lifestyle expert Susie Coelho specializes in economical entertaining. She told CNN-Money that "it's not cool to overdo things when people are suffering and most people are suffering. People are concerned about their homes and their jobs."