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Finding a good deal on a Thanksgiving turkey

November 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
It used to be that getting a free turkey at the grocery store at Thanksgiving time was as much a tradition as the meal itself. But not anymore. No free turkeys. At least not this year.

Phil Lempert, CEO and editor of supermarketguru.com says they're just too expensive for the stores.

"The wholesale price of Tom Turkeys are up about 33 percent," Lempert said.

Even so, there are some pretty good deals on turkeys this year, if you know where to look.

Albertsons is the only one that has a buy one, get one free promotion, but the price per pound is $1.39, so the turkeys could cost over $10 apiece.

On the other hand, a turkey at Ralphs will cost you only 29 cents per pound with a $25 minimum purchase.

Vons is handling their turkey promotion a bit differently by charging a set price of $5 to $7 for any frozen turkey 10 pounds or larger.

If you like that type of promotion, then check out Food 4 Less. A 10 to 15-pound turkey is only $4 with a $30 purchase.

"This year for Thanksgiving, it's going to be all about coupons and where they can save money," Lempert said. "Forget about tradition. It's going to be what's on sale."

If you don't want to slave over a hot stove, you can let one of the stores or local restaurants do the cooking.

A complete turkey dinner for 6 to 8 people at Marie Callender's is about $120.

At Mimi's Caf? it's about $80

Vons had the best price we surveyed with a whole dinner for 6 to 8 people starting at about $40.

A loyalty card was necessary in the majority of deals.


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