Food prices are rising and while family gatherings may still be a little different this year, many of us hope to have them. 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.
FREE Turkey and fixings from Ibotta:
To help with this, we’ve compiled some of our best tips for saving on turkeys.
We also have other articles to help you have a fun and frugal feast, including:
- The best grocery items to buy during holiday sales
- How to prepare a Thanksgiving feast on the cheap
- Delicious recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers, including leftover turkey
- Restaurants open on Thanksgiving day (including takeout options)
- Tips for defrosting and cooking your turkey
How to get the best turkey price this Thanksgiving
November is one of the best times 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 certain 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 remember 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.
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 per customer.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of Aug. 31, 2021, inventories of frozen whole turkeys and turkey parts were 24 percent lower than 3-year average volumes. And they’ll all cost more (thank the supply-chain problem).
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.
Here are the free turkey deals we’ve seen in 2021:
Price Plus club members can earn points toward a free or discounted turkey, beginning in October. Once you’ve racked up the appropriate number of points (varies by location), you can claim a free turkey, ham, turkey breast, kosher chicken, lasagna, or tofurkey. If you prefer another brand, you can choose instead to receive the same savings per pound on any other whole turkey, turkey breast, or ham.
Giant Food Stores
Giant shoppers can get a free Giant brand turkey, a free Tofurky Holiday Roast or $1 per pound off any other turkey when they earn 400 CHOICE points between Oct. 15 and Nov. 25, 2021. Turkeys must weigh no more than 20 pounds. Other restrictions apply; see the details at giantfoodstores.com/pages/free-turkey-earn.
This grocer is offering a digital coupon for a FREE turkey with at least a $100 additional grocery purchase. Our colleagues at Mile High on the Cheap have the details on this Safeway turkey deal here.
Using Ibotta at Walmart
Ibotta, a cash-back grocery shopping app, offers 100% cash back (i.e., it’s ultimately free) on a frozen whole turkey at Walmart (select brands, 3 pounds and up). The deal includes a wide assortment of other ingredients for the feast. Offer is valid while supplies last.
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 2021? Below is a sampling of turkey prices at various grocery stores this year. Use this list as a guide for finding the cheapest place to buy a turkey. We will update the list as supermarkets update their Thanksgiving deals.
And remember that many chains offer different prices for different regions.
Always check your local 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 home area.
The best turkey prices may vary by location and by week. All prices are for frozen turkeys unless indicated as fresh. Some offers may require an additional purchase or membership in the supermarket’s free discount shoppers program in order to access the lowest price per pound.
Butterball 87 cents per pound. Limit 2. Honeysuckle White fresh turkey $1.39 per pound. Simply Nature fresh organic turkey $2.99 per pound. (Both with limited availability.) Kirkwood frozen turkey breast $1.39 per pound.
A fully cooked smoked Butterball turkey (also frozen) costs $1.99 per pound. Aldi also has deals on your Thanksgiving cooking needs, such as turkey roasting racks and electric turkey fryers.
Harris Teeter premium turkey, frozen, 10-24 pounds, 29 cents per pound with $40 purchase, but the price could vary by region. Offer is good Nov. 11-16.
Through Nov. 16, turkeys are 49 cents per pound with a $25 purchase. Limit one at sale price.
Signature Farms frozen turkeys are $6 to $10 each, depending on weight category, with a minimum $25 purchase for shoppers with the Safeway for U loyalty card. Limit 1 per household. Butterball frozen turkeys are $1.49 a pound with the card. Other restrictions may apply.
Butterball turkeys 10-24 pounds are 99 cents per pound with same-day order services. Good & Gather birds those sizes are 79 cents per pound, as are 5-9 pound breasts, also with same-day order services.
Trader Joe’s brand brined fresh turkeys $1.99 per pound; organic fresh turkeys $3.49 per pound. Glatt kosher fresh turkeys $2.99 per pound. All are available starting Nov. 12, while supplies last.
Honeysuckle White frozen turkeys, 10-25 pounds, average 87 cents per pound; frozen turkey breast, 3-9 pounds, averages $1.88 per pound; a boneless frozen turkey roast with gravy is $9.93. Butterball frozen turkeys average 98 cents per pound; All Natural version, $1.49. All Natural frozen whole breast averages $2.28 per pound.
Shady Brook Farms frozen turkeys, 10 pounds and up, are 39 cents a pound; limit one per order. The frozen turkey breast is $2.49 a pound. Wegmans brand fresh turkey breast is $3.29 per pound (limit 1). Butterball frozen turkeys are $1.49 per pound. Whole-turkey prices reflect Loyalty Card savings, good through Nov. 21.
Whole turkey $1.49 per pound, or 99 cents a pound for Amazon Prime members; in-store sales only.
If you’re looking for the best prices on turkey, you might also like to read:
- Best grocery items to buy during Thanksgiving sales
- How to save money on Thanksgiving dinner
- 8 easy ways to use day-old bread
More Thanksgiving articles we recommend:
Fun things to do on Black Friday (that aren’t shopping)
What to do with leftover Thanksgiving side dishes
Ways to use leftover turkey
23 delicious uses for Thanksgiving leftovers
18 frugal Thanksgiving leftover recipes
Day after Thanksgiving favorites:
How to skip Black Friday madness and still get the deals
The smart shopper’s guide to Black Friday
Best shopping apps for Black Friday 2020
8 ways to survive (and even enjoy) shopping Black Friday
Best Instant Pot deal and more Black Friday deals