11 deals and tips to save money on groceries this Thanksgiving

There’s exactly one week left until Thanksgiving, the holiday when loved ones gather around a table to enjoy a turkey with all the trimmings. Unfortunately we are live in an age of inflation, and these toppings are expected to cost us much more than in past years. But, with a little planning, you can ensure that the hole in your wallet remains minimal.

On November 16, the American Farm Bureau, a federation of farmers and ranchers, released its 37th annual survey which estimates the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving feast for 10. The Bureau found that this year that cost is $64.05 or about $6.40 per person, a 20% increase over the average of $53.31 from last year.

That makes this year the most expensive Thanksgiving dinner in the Bureau’s 37 years of holiday investigations. A difference of $10.47 is obvious for a special meal, but when you break it down, the financial impact extends far beyond the holidays.

So what is to blame for these price increases, exactly? Basically, all of this is due to the global conflict.

“The war in Ukraine is affecting a number of commodity prices, beyond our general inflation rates,” American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Dr. Roger Cryan told Vicki Nguyen November 17 TODAY ‘HUI. “Farmers are feeling this pain, they’ve seen their fuel prices double, their fertilizer prices triple.

The biggest increase in holiday food costs belongs to a 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix, which has risen in price by 69%. The smallest inflated cost of a holiday staple belongs to a 30-ounce box of pumpkin pie mix, though it’s still up 18%.

The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables is the turkey, and main event prices have gone up. It’s now 21% more for a 16 pound turkey, going from $23.99 to $28.96. For turkeys, the conflict in Ukraine is not the only reason prices have soared. There was also an outbreak of bird flu which impacted the population – and size – of the holiday bird.

“Our understanding is that turkey production is only down 2% from a year ago, so there may be smaller turkeys, it may be more difficult to find a large bird,” said cryan.

The news isn’t all bad, though. Fresh cranberries are actually down in price this year. A 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries is down 14% in price, so making a new batch of cranberry sauce rather than buying a box will potentially save you money.

Grocery Deals to Grab Before Thanksgiving

“The reality is that around Thanksgiving, grocery stores take the promotional dollars that they’ve accrued throughout the year for manufacturers and they put them into promotions for consumers so they can get those great deals. on the shelf,” said Greg Ferrara. , president and CEO of the National Grocers Association at TODAY.

Yes, there are indeed deals to be had at grocery stores — and in fact, grocery stores are aggressively pushing deals this year, hoping to combat the turkey bulge, so to speak. Here are a few.


On November 2, 2022, Aldi announced in a press release that it was matching its 2019 prices on certain Thanksgiving-related items. This translates to a whole frozen turkey at $1.07 per pound compared to $1.59.

whole foods

Amazon-owned Whole Foods also has a frozen turkey deal right now at $1.49 a pound.


At Safeway, a supermarket chain with operations in 17 states and the District of Columbia, there are deals this week for sweet potatoes, as well as ham, which faced major price hikes just before the holidays. .

Other Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Dinner

There are other ways to save on Thanksgiving dinner using a few simple steps to keep you and your wallet full when Thanksgiving dinner is over.

Make a list and stick to it

We all know the “target effect” – the way you unwittingly overspend at stores like Target and others. This phenomenon can also happen at the supermarket if you don’t have a list, so be sure to plan what you need before heading to the store.

Loyalty programs

Join in-store loyalty programs that offer easily redeemable perks like Target Circle Rewardswhich earns you 1% of your total with every purchase to redeem later on Target.

Apps are the way to go

Enjoy various apps like Basketwhich allows users to search local stores to compare prices of everyday products or Flipwhich quickly scans all available weekly listings to show you where you can get the items you need on sale. Ibotta gives users cash back every time they shop, providing discounts on food purchases.

Pay attention to the weight

Watch the price per ounce so you don’t fall into a marketing trap and pay more than expected. Also, be sure to look at the label on your turkeys and make sure it doesn’t state any added water or juice so the extra weight doesn’t factor into the price of your bird.

Plan for the guests you have

If you have a small guest list, opting for thighs or breasts instead of a whole turkey will save you a lot on food you may not be eating. Also carry about a third of a pound per person for the food you prepare, so you don’t over-prepare.

Save money on dairy and eggs by freezing them

We all have to pour out a gallon of stale milk before we’ve had a chance to use it all up, but chef and TV personality Monti Carlo has some tips for reducing that waste.

“You can freeze milk and you can also cook with soured milk,” Monti Carlo told TODAY, adding that you can use this processed milk the same way you would sour cream or buttermilk. . But don’t drink it.

Carlo also said that when you find a deal on eggs, buy in bulk, crack the eggs you are not going to use right away, mix beforehand with a whisk and freeze in ice cube trays for later. You can also save extra bread for that homemade stuffing you don’t use by ending up putting it in the freezer as well.

It’s not too late to shop

If you haven’t done your Thanksgiving Day shopping yet, don’t worry, it’s not too late.

“It’s a great weekend for shopping,” Ferrara said. “Especially turkeys – if they buy frozen turkeys, depending on the size.”

Go generic – no one but you will know

Canned, canned, or frozen foods with generic labels will always be cheaper than branded items. Opting for the store-brand item will lower your total Thanksgiving spending, especially when it comes to single-ingredient baking supplies like flour or sugar.

I promise, no one will be able to tell, except maybe your bank balance.

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