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To save on Thanksgiving, let’s talk turkey


Focusing on finding a cheaper turkey can drop meal costs quickly. The average hen runs $1.45 per pound and the average tom, $1.47, according to the turkey Market News Report from the Department of Agriculture – putting a 16-pound bird at roughly $23.

Deals vary by supermarket chain and region, but it’s common this time of year to see offers for a free or deeply discounted bird when you spend a set amount, said Cataldo. Some offers are easier to snag than others: In northern New Jersey, for example, ShopRite’s deal offered a free bird with $400 in spending, while Acme required just $100.

Advance planning and flexibility can help you pull together the rest of the meal on the cheap, said grocery expert Teri Gault. Monitor store circulars and coupon offers between now and Thanksgiving, she said, and you’re bound to find stackable deals on ingredients that were already on your list, like baking supplies for pies, stuffing mix and rolls.

“Use whatever produce is on sale for your side dishes,” said Gault. “All those things are going to come together, so, so inexpensively.”

If you don’t want to cook, compare options for prepared meals from supermarkets that you can reheat and serve at home. They’re not cheap – per-person prices can easily top $10, said Cataldo. But that’s still cheaper than dining out, and you can supplement that base meal with other sides and desserts.

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