Turkey Day is nearly upon us, and chances are, you're busy gathering the final pieces you'll need for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. While you may be tempted to go all out, experts say you don't need to break the bank to make a delicious meal. Heather Schisler, founder of Passion for Savings, and Emily Hutchinson, author of Creative Cookie Decorating ($22.49, Amazon), shared four easy tips with Woman's World for how to do it all on a budget.
Score a Free Turkey
Sign up for your supermarket’s loyalty program, and you’re bound to get special holiday discounts. “Many offer a free turkey or ham when you make a minimum purchase during the weeks leading up to the holidays,” says Schisler. That means you can save about $22 on a 16-pound gobbler! Her pro tip to ensure freebie success? “Buy all the items you need for your meal at one store, so you can meet that minimum with ease.”
She adds: “Nonperishable seasonal items, like canned pumpkin and chocolate chips, are often on sale this time of year, making it a great time to stock up!”
Get 50% Off Spices
You’ll find big bargains on many recipe items at your local supermarket — if you know where to look! “You can get ground spices, cinnamon sticks and more in the international aisle for about half the price of those in the baking aisle,” says Hutchinson, a judge for Hallmark Drama’s Christmas Cookie Matchup.
You can also look to unexpected aisles for smaller versions of your essentials. Need just a sprinkle of blue cheese? Instead of shelling out for a full container, why not grab a small amount from the supermarket salad bar? Making stuffing? There's no need to buy fresh bread and wait for it to get stale. Walmart sells day-old loaves at their bakery for as little as $1.
Nab Deals at the Drugstore
“Drugstores aren’t typically the place you think of when you’re shopping for groceries, but during the holiday months, CVS, Walgreens, and other pharmacies offer amazing deals on baking supplies, boxed mixes, and beverages,” says Schisler.
That’s because they’re hoping you’ll come for the food savings, then make other purchases while you’re there. “To find the best drugstore food deals fast, download the free Flipp app or check out their weekly sales at Sunday Saver.”
Save Big on Dinnertime Staples
Think prices can’t get any lower than what’s already being offered at discount grocers, such as Aldi and Lidl? Surprise! A new study shows that meat, dairy, produce, and other items advertised in traditional supermarket weekly circulars are actually cheaper a whopping 72 percent of the time!
In fact, one analysis found that supermarket prices were $2 per pound less for steak, $1 less per pint of blueberries, and $1.14 less for a 12-pack of soda. These price drops are one way grocers keep pace with discount competitors so you remain a loyal customer. Simply build your shopping list around these specials to keep even more cash in your pocket!
Another smart tip: Read that supermarket email. It might seem like spam, but they’re using the data they've collected from your shopping trips to highlight the best deals that will be the most relevant to your household. Cha-ching!
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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