Cheap feasts: saving on holiday meals

There are many ways to save money on the Thanksgiving feast. Coupons, generic brands and pre-made dishes are among these ways. However, there is an even simpler way to save a considerable amount of money on the meal, and it does not require any extra effort. Like many things in life, it’s all about the location.

“Where you shop can help you save money,” said Mrs. Kathryn McGuire, a Family and Consumer Science teacher. “Some stores are cheaper than others and have better deals.”

Thanksgiving savings can start when you get in the car and decide which store to shop at. Though a grocery store, such as Schnucks or Dierbergs, may seem like the obvious choice, there are other places to go and better savings to be had.

One good place to check out for Thanksgiving shopping is Shop ‘n’ Save. This store offers much cheaper prices on brand name items and even lower prices on its generic brand products. For regular Shop ‘n’ Save shoppers, who have a Perks card, spending $250 in store the month before Thanksgiving earned them a free turkey. Buying weekly groceries, this was not a difficult goal to accomplish. For people who do not regularly shop here, there are still discounts to be had. The wide array of smaller brands enable Shop ‘n’ Save to sell really cheap foods that will save you “up to 30% or more,” according to its website. The store also has excellent pricing on most brand name items. However, this is not the only store that can help cut the costs of the feast.

Another store that can definitely help save money is Walmart. Like Shop ‘n’ Save, Walmart offers lower prices on brand name and generic brand products, and it also has considerably less expensive produce. A Walmart 12 lb. turkey can be purchased for less than $5 during the Thanksgiving sales, which are currently going on now. The 10″ pie that costs $6.99 at the grocery store costs only $4.97 here. While Walmart and Shop ‘n’ Save are both places where a lot of money can be saved, there is another option, which is especially useful if you are having a large group of people over for dinner: buying in bulk.

Buying items in bulk is significantly cheaper than buying a lot of a single items individually. There are a few places in the area where you can buy items in large amounts and save money. The two best examples of such stores in this area are Costco and Aldi.

Costco is a great place to find most Thanksgiving essentials that can feed a whole dinner party at the same price it would cost to feed a single family from the grocery store. One such example of savings here is the pumpkin pie. At Schnucks, a 10″ pumpkin pie costs $6.99 and serves about six people, but at Costco, a thicker 12″ pie costs only $5.99 and can serve up to 12; that is more pie for a dollar less than the grocery store. Costco is also a great place to find larger turkeys and a wider selection of pre-seasoned and pre-prepared turkeys as well. However, in order to shop there, you must have a membership, which costs around $50 a year.

Aldi is another good place to get a lot of food for a little money, and it does not require a membership. Because of its lesser known brands and amount of items, Aldi can offer low prices on all of the Thanksgiving ingredients that can really add up at the grocery store. Here, you can get L’oven Fresh dinner rolls for less than a dollar, where the same quantity of a more popular brand at the grocery store can cost upwards of $2. There are also lower prices on larger turkeys at Aldi, and much lower prices on pre-cooked birds. In addition, Aldi offers side dishes that all cost less than a dollar, and these are the regular prices, so there is not even a need to spend time looking for coupons.

From buying generic to buying in bulk, simply choosing the right store to shop at can help anyone save money instantly. Just by making the right decision, Thanksgiving dinner can be taken from outrageously expensive to wallet friendly, and that is definitely something to be thankful for.