Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
Food prices are higher than they’ve been for a while, and that means we’re going to be on the hunt for the cheapest turkey prices in an effort to make the annual Thanksgiving celebration as abundant (and delicious) as ever.
To help with this, we’ve compiled some of our best tips for saving on turkeys.
How to get the best turkey price this Thanksgiving
November is the best time of year to buy turkey on sale.
You should easily find whole, frozen birds for less than $1 per pound, and some grocery stores will even offer a FREE turkey with purchases over a specific dollar amount, or when you buy your Christmas ham along with it.
If you don’t need a whole turkey, you can shop for a turkey breast instead. Just note that you won’t get the cheapest price per pound of turkey.
It may be more frugal in the long run to buy the whole bird and have lots of Thanksgiving leftovers.
How much turkey do you need per person? The rule of thumb is one pound per person, but if you want leftovers (and who doesn’t?) or have big eaters in your family, plan for 1.5 pounds per person.
Maximize your Thanksgiving savings
Since many grocery stores have low prices on turkeys, consider buying a second one to put in your freezer if you have room. You might need to make two trips since the cheapest turkeys often have purchase limits.
Still, many grocers will sell turkeys as a “loss leader” in hopes that once you’re in the store you’ll make other purchases.
In fact, some stores require you to make additional purchases of $20 to $50 and up in order to pay their lowest price per pound for turkey.
Make sure you’re not overpaying for the additional purchase items as it may just be cheaper to pay full price for the turkey. Here are some more of our tips on how to maximize your savings while shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.
And although turkey is probably the big-ticket item on the menu this year, remember that you can save money on Thanksgiving dinner with some of these great frugal ideas.
Free turkeys for Thanksgiving
Certain grocery chains offer free turkey promotions leading up to Thanksgiving.
These tend to be aimed at members of the supermarket’s discount shoppers club and are based on total purchases throughout October and November.
Price Plus members can earn points toward a FREE turkey or other item — from Oct. 15 to Nov. 23. The number of required points varies by location.
You must use the same Price Plus card each time you shop at any ShopRite. No register tapes to save or cards to punch each week. The accumulation happens automatically with your Price Plus card.
Spend $400 and qualify for ONE of the following:
- ShopRite or Bowl & Basket All-Natural Frozen Turkey (any size up to 21-lbs.)
- Save $1.99 per pound on any other fresh or frozen turkey brand (up to 21-lbs.)
- Save $1.99 per pound on Empire or Kosher Turkey brand (up to 21-lbs.)
- Cooks Butt or Shank ½ Smoked Ham
- Save $2.39 per pound on any Cook’s Spiral Sliced Ham, Boneless Ham or any other Smoked Ham (up to 12-lbs. ave.)
- Save $7.17 on John F Martin Boneless Ham
- Save $3.29 per pound on any other fresh or frozen Turkey Breast or Empire Kosher Turkey Breast
- Empire or Kosher Frozen Roasting Chicken (up to 8-lbs. ave.)
- Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagna any variety (90- to 96-oz.)
- Gardein Plant-Based Roast frozen (35.2-oz.)
- Tofurky frozen (56-oz.)
- Marie Callender’s Sides (13-oz.)
- Fresh Whole Picnic (pork picnic, 12-lbs. ave.)
- Save $1.89 per pound on any other Bone-in Smoked Pork Picnic
GIANT Food Stores
GIANT Choice Pass members can earn a FREE turkey — from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23.
Earn CHOICE points when you shop. It’s easy to earn points fast — shop with your GIANT card every time, look for weekly bonus offers and check your personalized “earn points” offers in the app.
All offers can be redeemed in-store or online.
Once you reach 400 points, claim your FREE reward from one of the following:
- FREE frozen Grade A Shady Brook Farms Turkey (up to 20-lbs.)
- Stouffer’s Party-Size Entree
- Tofurkey Roast
- $1 off per pound on other premium turkeys (up to 20-lbs.)
See complete details at giantfoodstores.com/pages/free-turkey-earn.
Safeway is offering a FREE any size Honeysuckle White Turkey with a minimum grocery purchase of $150. (The cost of the turkey does not count toward the minimum purchase requirement.)
The giveaway is typically offered weekly in November, leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
Ibotta’s free Thanksgiving meal
The cash-back grocery app Ibotta is offering 100% cash back on a frozen whole turkey and sides — up to $20.50 in total. The rebate is available from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, while supplies last.
The offer is available to new and existing members. However, existing members must redeem other offers first before unlocking the FREE turkey and sides.
New members have immediate access to the Thanksgiving rebate. To sign up, click here.
Where to buy the cheapest turkeys
When you’re searching for the best turkey prices, realize that buying a frozen turkey in advance is almost always going to be your best bet. If you’ve cut it too close to Thanksgiving, you’re going to have to spring for a fresh turkey.
How long should you thaw a frozen turkey? Figure one day for every 5 pounds, so four days for a 20-pound bird. Always thaw your frozen turkey in the refrigerator — never on the counter.
Looking for turkeys on sale in 2023? Use this list as a guide for finding the cheapest place to buy a turkey. And, remember, prices will vary by location, market and/or region — even by week.
Always review the weekly circulars or store websites for accurate turkey pricing in your area or check your local Living on the Cheap network sites for turkey deals in your area.
All prices are for frozen turkeys unless indicated as fresh. Offers may require an additional purchase or membership in the supermarket’s loyalty program in order to receive the lowest price per pound.
NOTE: Prices may vary by location, region and/or state. In addition, online prices may vary from in-store pricing. For the most accurate pricing, check in-store at your nearest location.
From Nov. 15 to 21, get a frozen Butterball whole turkey for $1.27 per pound. Limit two turkeys per customer.
For the most current sale price on turkey, review ALDI’s weekly ad.
Harris Teeter is offering one of its premium frozen turkeys (10- to 24-lbs.) for 29 cents per pound. The offer requires an additional minimum purchase of $40 — excluding the cost of the turkey.
Offer is valid through Nov. 23. For current prices, visit the Harris Teeter site.
From Nov. 15 to 23, the grocery store is offering a frozen Kroger turkey for 49 cents per pound. The offer requires an additional minimum purchase of $25 — excluding the cost of the turkey.
Limit one turkey at the sale price. For current prices, find a Kroger store in your area and review its weekly ad.
From Nov. 15 to 23, Safeway is offering members a Signature Farms fresh turkey (9- to 24-lbs.) for 89 cents per pound while supplies last.
Limit one turkey at the sale price. For current prices, review Safeway’s weekly ad.
Target is offering Butterball frozen turkey — starting at $1.49 per pound. The retailer is also offering its store brand Good & Gather at a lower price — just 99 cents per pound.
This year, Target is offering a Thanksgiving feast for four for $25.
The holiday meal includes potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, cream of mushroom soup, green beans and a 10-pound turkey. The final meal price varies and is dependent upon size of the turkey.
Trader Joe’s is offering its All Natural Antibiotic Free Brined Fresh Young Turkey (12- to 16-lbs. or 17- to 22-lbs.) for $2.49 per pound. In addition, the chain’s Glatt Kosher birds (12- to 16-lbs.) for $3.49 per pound.
Trader Joe’s is very popular, so the birds are available while supplies last. Check out Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer for more information on what the store is offering for Thanksgiving.
Enjoy your holiday spread with convenient classics for less than last year at Walmart.
The items include easy options for a festive family meal, like ready-to-heat macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls, along with premade stuffing mix, cranberry jelly, turkey gravy and thaw-and-serve pies with whipped topping.
Also featured are items for preparing a whole turkey and ham, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and candied carrots using your favorite recipes. (Items subject to availability at your local Walmart.)
Even better, the special pricing continues through Dec. 26, 2023, so you can enjoy savings on your Christmas feast, too.
Wegmans is offering its Shady Brook Farms frozen turkey at 29 cents per pound. Limit one per order. The sale price reflects loyalty card savings ($2.10 off per pound) and is valid for a limited time.
For low prices on turkeys at Wegmans, sign into your account and select a store for accurate pricing.
Whole Foods Market
From Nov. 8, 2023, to Jan. 2, 2024, Whole Foods Market is offering its 365 by Whole Foods Market frozen whole turkey for $1.99 per pound. The organic version is $2.99 per pound.
The sale price is only available to Amazon Prime members.
For current sale prices, review Whole Foods Market’s weekly sales flyer.