Do you want to good news or the bad news first? According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost of Thanksgiving meal has decreased slightly this year—by 44 cents to be exact. Unfortunately, last year the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner rose by a staggering 13%, so while prices are down a little bit, the costs are still higher than in previous years.*
So we’ll start with the good news: we’ve consolidated the cost of local turkeys in Indy to spare you the hunt. After all, it’s the first step in the plan that Stephanie Nelson, founder of www.CouponMom.com, says leads to a turkey day feast that can cost as little as $5 per person. She budgets approximately $15 on a frozen turkey (depending on the number of guests,) gets sale-priced green beans and sweet potatoes, then uses coupons or store brands on cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, and pie.
So, the best way to cut your turkey cost dramatically is to buy the frozen bird versus fresh and work around thawing times. Frozen costs about half the price per pound, but not always:
Gordon Food Service (good through Wednesday, November 27 at 9 pm)
.49 per pound for a whole hen turkey with $25 additional purchase. Limit 1. Does not say whether it’s frozen or fresh, but it really doesn’t matter since they came in with the best price of all.
Meijer (good through Wednesday, November 27)
66% off all turkeys — any brand, any size — with an additional $20 purchase. Limit one. That comes down to 51 cents per pound for frozen, 68 cents for fresh. (You know the drill: that $20 doesn’t include alcohol, prescriptions, gift cards, lottery tickets, postage among other things —nor does buying another turkey count.
Marsh (good through Thursday, November 28 at 5 pm)
Frozen Norbest or Honeysuckle frozen turkeys 10 to 24 pounds are .69 cents per pound with store card and $25 purchase. Limit 1.Butterball frozen are .99 cents per pound while Butterball fresh are $1.99. Same rules apply.
Aldi (good through Tuesday, November 26)
Butterball frozen turkey, .99 per pound; fresh is their Wednesday special buy at $1.29 per pound.
Kroger (good through Thursday, November 28 at 4 pm)
Private Selection frozen turkey is $1.19 per pound with store card and $25 additional purchase; fresh is $1.29 per pound, same rules. Limit 2.
Wal-Mart is the real high price king this week, charging $1.78 per pound for a frozen turkey.
*From the United States Department of Agriculture: Turkey meat production in the United States over the first nine months of 2013 has totaled 4.4 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the same period in 2012. Total production for the year is forecast at 5.9 billion pounds, also slightly lower than the previous year. Higher cold storage holdings of whole turkeys have placed downward pressure on prices. The October price for whole frozen hen turkeys on the wholesale market was $1.07 per pound, the highest monthly price in 2013, but 6 percent lower than a year earlier. The average wholesale price for frozen whole hen turkeys during fourth-quarter 2013 is projected to range from $1.01 to $1.05 per pound, down about 9 cents per pound from the fourth-quarter average in 2012. Turkey consumption in the United States is expected to be 16.0 pounds per person in 2013, the same as in 2012.
Now stop geeking and start eating. <grin>