How to save when shopping for your Thanksgiving meal

John Gregory Image
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
How to save money on your Thanksgiving meal
Turkeys are cheaper this year, but your Thanksgiving sides could cost more. Here's how to save money when grocery shopping.

We can already smell the savings for your Thanksgiving meal. You'll be happy to know the price of turkey is a lot cheaper this year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation said the national average price for a bird this year is $19, about 22% lower than last year.

There shouldn't be a huge price difference for fresh or frozen turkeys, but you don't want to wait too long to buy them.

"If you're going for fresh, buy it now," editor Phil Lempert said. "Frozen, to be honest with you, those were frozen weeks ago, so we've got an ample supply of them if you wait. And everyday, we're hearing new deals."

Amazon Fresh is selling frozen turkeys for less than 50 cents a pound, but you have to spend over $50 on other items to get the deal.

Fresh turkeys tend to be in more limited supply and don't need to be defrosted. You'll need to pre-order one, and they should only be kept in the fridge for two days before cooking.

For frozen turkeys, you should buy it sooner to avoid stock going out at the grocery store. And always make sure to plan your defrost time well before the meal.

Now for the side dishes, experts say buying fresh is the best option this year. You're likely to spend more money on canned goods.

"What we're seeing is canned pumpkin, canned cranberries, those products, canned green beans, those are up in price," Lempert said "So, what you wanna do, you wanna choose fresh. This year fresh is actually less expensive than the can."

For desserts, check out restaurants for deals on pies. Not a lot of people go out to eat for Thanksgiving, so restaurants try to promote their desserts.

If you plan to make yours, remember some canned ingredients could cost more.

Don't be afraid to shop around for the best deals. Walmart, Target and Costco all have big Thanksgiving meal sales. Aldi reduced the price on 70 items, up to 50 percent off.

Join us every weekday morning on Eyewitness News at 5 a.m. for our new segment, ABC7 On Your Side. John Gregory has you covered on money-saving tips, including tricks to save on your bills, smart negotiating tactics, plus where you can score free stuff!