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Shopping tips for your Thanksgiving meal

November 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It's a busy week at grocery stores as people buy the ingredients for that Thanksgiving feast. So how big a price difference will you find between stores? Here's some shopping lessons that can save you money year-round.

Which store has the lowest prices for all the items on your Thanksgiving meal shopping list?

Eyewitness News checked the typical cost of a Thanksgiving meal, from turkey and potatoes, to sweet potatoes and stuffing, to cranberries and pumpkin pie mix, to pie shells and rolls.

Stater Brothers was the lowest, with a total of $15.91 for those items. Albertsons had the highest total, at $54.75. The turkey was the deciding factor.

So pricing the meal without the turkey, Ralphs came out the lowest with a total of $15.43. Albertsons again had the highest, at $22.91.

According to Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com, there's no better time to buy groceries than right now.

"Turkeys are the cheapest meat of the entire year," said Gault. "That means don't just buy one. There are turkey deals everywhere, and if you can buy two, get an extra one, and, I always say, have Thanksgiving in July.

"Right now is the cheapest time of the year on everything in the baking aisle until the end of the year. It's the only time to really stock up in the baking aisle. Never pay full price," said Gault.

"When you're buying by the pound, sometimes there's water on it, and even a lot of ice crystals can be packed down inside, so remove all water," said Gault. "Why would we want to pay for water weight?"

Size matters. Check the unit price on items to find the best deal. Bigger is not always better, price-wise, and you can stock up on sale items that are smaller.

"Sometimes the organic [produce] is on sale, and if the conventional is not, this could actually be less," said Gault. "I always say, check the organic, you might get a deal.

"Frozen pies are the cheapest of the year right now," said Gault. "You can stock up and think birthday parties, parties to come, New Year's, all the holidays."

So take advantage of all the sale prices now and stock up.