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How To Buy Thanksgiving Dinner for Less Than $25.00!

It’s Friday and that means we are talking holiday shopping deals again! Our “Holiday Shopping Pro”, Melea of Freebies2Deals.com, is going to be joining us every other Friday through the holidays to share her expert tips for getting the best deals! If you’re in charge of Thanksgiving Dinner this year, like I am, you are going to want to read today’s post before you head out to buy all the fixins! Melea is telling us how to find everything you’ll need (for a family of 6-8 people) for less than $25.00!

Melea writes…….. Want to save money on all of your Thanksgiving Meal staples?? Guess where you will want to head this year? TARGET!

Each year, I put together a whole excel spreadsheet to figure out which store has the overall best price for your Thanksgiving Meal. And while I was putting it together, I actually stopped because Target ended up being the clear winner. (Of course, if you want to use the Target ad and Price Match at Walmart, you could do that too. I know that a lot of people don’t have a Target close by.)

Thanksgiving Meal

Purchase Thanksgiving Dinner for 6-8 People for $24.32 at Target!

  • 12 Pound Grade A Turkey $.89 a lb
  • 2 Jars of Heinz Gravy $1.25 Each
  • 3 Cans Del Monte Green Beans $.59 each
  • 1 Can Cranberry Sauce $1.39
  • 2 Boxes of Stove Top Stuffing $1.25 Each
  • 5 lb Bag of Potatoes $1.99
  • 12 Market Pantry Rolls $1.99
  • 2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup $.75 Each
    (**Keep in mind, this is WITHOUT coupons you can drop the price even more with printable coupons on some of these products OR by checking prices of the store brand of the same exact item. You cannot use manufacturer coupons on the store brand. So just go with what is cheaper: Name Brand with a Coupon, Name Brand, or Store Brand)
Thanksgiving Meal

This week, Text GROCERY1 to 827438 and you will get a FREE $10 Target Gift Card with any $50 or more Food/Drink Purchase coupon texted to you. Show the cashier the barcode off your phone and he/she will hand you a FREE $10 gift card.

If we do a little math, getting that $10 gift card is just like getting $2 off every $10 we spend of that $50. So since we spent $24 just on Thanksgiving Meal Items, you will essentially be getting an extra $4 off – making your GRAND TOTAL for your Thanksgiving Meal only $20.32!

So if you need to feed more than 8 people, or if you just want to get other grocery shopping done while you are there that FREE $10 Gift Card with $50 purchase will really make a difference.

Thanksgiving Meal

For those of you who want to save even more, there are coupons and Target Cartwheel Digital coupons you can use to drop the price even lower.

Hope this helps you save some money on your family’s Thanksgiving Meal! And if you want to know which store the best price on other grocery items you might need to pick up, you can use the Grocery Search Feature on Freebies2Deals.com. You can enter in an item like “butter” and find out which store has it for the cheapest price. And since butter has been so expensive lately, it might be one of those items you want to save a bunch of money on.

Thanksgiving Meal

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee



  • The meal plan of canned vegetables, jarred gravy, etc. adds plenty of unwanted sodium, additives & preservatives family members with medical conditions cannot have. If you are not able to handle cooking a complete turkey there’s nothing wrong with cooking turkey parts.
    Tailor the meal to your situation. Put out a buffet, make it a ‘potluck effort’ by assigning a different dish to each guest. You can serve whatever side dishes, soups, salads, desserts appeal to you. We always include some ethnic foods along with the turkey just to liven up the proceedings.
    Nothing canned or jarred for us.

  • this article is a perfect example why I don’t bother with coupons. I can buy a turkey this thanksgiving for 78C a lb if I buy 25 dollars worth of other groceries at a nearby store, I may or may no though because spending 25 at a medium expensive store is not too likely for us. I shop Aldi almost exclusively and so I will have to decide if this week they have butter for 2.69 a lb. fresh cranberries for 98 cents and mushroom soup for 49 cents each. Raw carrots, celery, onions and other veges are all cheaper there too. the cans of soup will be the only premade canned or boxed food showing up on our table, and while there will be 6 of us this year, I don’t expect to spend even 25 dollars, and we will all have leftovers for a couple days. Highly processed, boxed food is just not good for your waist, budget or health! you can learn everything on the internet now, if you don’t know how to cook, learn it is sooo worth it.

  • I prefer home made rather than processed as it is much more healthful and now that I’m not consuming any more grains, it will be a challenge this year, but I’ll figure it out. I’m thinking a turkey breast, crustless pumpkin pie, low sugar cranberry sauce made from scratch, mashed cauliflower/turnips/parsnips in lieu of mashed potatoes, broccoli, sweet potatoes or carrots and NO corn or breads

  • Some really great comments, especially considering the holiday should be about family not food. Our family trades off who is hosting for that year (I have Thanksgiving every other year). This year I’m hosting. I provide the turkey and cook it and the rest of the meal we potluck. Every family signs up to bring something. If some item isn’t signed for, the host provides (ie, this year I’ll be doing the green bean casserole as well). This year I’ll be hosting for 29 guests. I can’t imagine providing the whole meal myself. Thank heavens for helpers………………………..

  • I normally fix Thanksgiving dinner semi-homemade, but the most relaxing one was the year we didn’t have company. We used a few more instant versions of our favorites that year . We all enjoyed our stressless meal and were very thankful.

  • 3 bags of herb seasoned bread cubes, 2 boxes of chicken stock, 1/2 onion, 4 stalks celery, salt and pepper, make a homemade stuffing/dressing. Cook in slow cooker. Turkey was gift from husband;s employer. Make real gravy with turkey drippings, flour, to make a roux and chicken stock. Season. Canned green beans with dehydrated onions, a tsp of bacon drippings, salt and pepper, a shake of cayenne pepper. frozen dinner rolls baked. frozen pumpkin pie, homemade peanut butter pie. Boxed stuffing just tastes horrible as does the jarred gravy. Saving money is all well and good, but a real homemade turkey dinner is worth a little effort. A lot of the dinner is make ahead too.

  • The first thing that came to mind when I saw this post was that it would be a great way to surprise a family in need. We don’t have a lot of extra money ourselves so this lineup would let me assist another hard working mom that might not contact charities for such. The ease of the meal preparation would only add to the gift, and it stands alone if she didn’t have other pantry items on hand. A+ Jillee! Now to find a coupon for a pumpkin pie!

  • This is an excellent post! I would like to add my thoughts regarding the “scratch” level of this dinner. For many years I assisted with holiday food drives and at first, I thought the same thing about why processed products are so heavily used.
    I’d like to relate a few real life stories out there to set things in perspective. One struggling family had a very ill hospitalized child and family time with that child trumped the extra time to prepare a scratch meal. Another family, just barely became no longer homeless and didn’t even have enough plates for the family to eat together (they had even fewer pots). A nurse & retail manager volunteering at the food drive, said their family dinner would be mostly packaged or bought from a restaurant because they were both working extended shifts beginning the Mon. before Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas. A young mother, with limited cooking knowledge was just concerned about getting one dish right–the turkey.
    This does not make these folks or anyone else less thankful for what they do have. Perhaps, when the food is less fancy there is more time focused on being grateful for just merely being together or how far you have come or better days coming. If we shift our thinking just a little, we realize the food is just a really small part of what Thanksgiving is all about.

    • AMEN CTY. YOU get it. And therefore you are doubley blessed!

      I’m the least ‘martha stewart’ type of my whole big family yet where do they all want to spend Thanksgiving? who do they want to spend it with? Food is secondary for sure! Believe me, I am living proof that my family doesn’t care as much about that and we have much better cooks in our family than I am! I too, am so blessed. And now with Jillee’s post, I can hopefully save money. Our family loves Thanksgiving so much that we have TWO! One at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas. No gifts other than the one’s we buy for each other on Thanksgiving after dinner when we go to Walgreens (open 24 hrs on Thanksgiving) with a $10 limit for each secret Santa recipient. It’s great fun and no stress and TWO Thanksgivings to be thankful for! All fun, all family, no stress! THANKS JILLEE and CTY.

  • I believe Jillee’s post was a way to SAVE MONEY: And do so with coupons/sales for the items:

    If you don’t want to save money- do it your way.

    Yes, Home-made is always very good, but some people are lucky to have enough money to cook using items Jillee posted about. Not everyone has access to all the fresh vegetables etc. or the time to prepare: I love to cook anything homemade when I can but I won’t complain about the shortcut options Jillee offers for those who need it. Thank You Jillee for always providing options as some do appreciate it!

    • I agree. Also not everyone is a skillful cook (I am doing good to boil water without a disaster lol) or is physically able to do the labor intensive cooking of a fully homemade dinner as outlined above. My grandmother used to make EVERYTHING from scratch and spent days baking cakes/cookies/candies and then several hours the day of making all the other stuff and we absolutely loved it. She always refused any help. Now she’s 88 and her health is failing and she’s unable to stand long enough to fix a simple breakfast so cooking a large meal from scratch is out of the question. My aunt and uncle live with her and are able to help out and grandma is “farming” out some of the other stuff this year to the rest of the family (which is a first for her).

      My point is that not everyone has the luxury of being able to cook a fully homemade meal and it’s nice to have someone give those of us that can’t do homemade meals the options of finding something that we can make for a lot less money. Thank you so much for this very helpful information!

    • Yes you are right Judy Ann. I certainly didn’t mean to look down on Jillee’s post, as I’m sure most of the others commenting here didn’t as well. There are others less fortunate, who would be happy to get these tips to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Thank you Jillee for providing that information.

  • This sounds like a great plan for someone on a limited time OR financial budget. On the other hand, I go more with the first commenter’s plan: homemade is WAAAAAAY better!

    I remember the year my Navy brother brought a friend home for the holidays. The guy was amazed. He had never seen a homemade meal like that. He kept texting his wife across the country about it all. We were equally amazed as we’d never thought of NOT home-making everything! We ate homemade everyday!

  • I too make most everything from scratch. Can’t imagine using jarred gravy when you have all those good turkey drippings. Due to a daughter having some gluten issues I use home made cream of mushroom soup for the green bean casserole. Also use corn starch instead of flour for gravy thickening and for the pumpkin pie I make it crustless. Just make up the filling and put it in the pie plate and bake until it’s done. No one seems to miss the crust plus you’re saving a lot of calories. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  • I make every single thing from scratch too and it is so worth it…well all but the rolls as I have Celiac disease and no one else does, so I just buy rolls for them. Other than that, homemade is the best way. We rely too much on processed foods in this country for sure, but at least on Thanksgivng there should be a greater effort to provide good food

  • Thanks for all the coupon information! We have college kids with limited kitchen privileges and this is doable for them at a great price too. For this we are grateful!

  • Couldn’t agree more with the homemade dinner. I always make everything from scratch. No comparison to store bought. I take a few shortcuts like Pepperidge farm bread cubes for the stuffing and Pillsbury Pie crusts but other than that it is all homemade. I make my own cranberry sauce which is really good with just a bag of cranberries,1/3 cup of sugar and a little water or orange juice and a cinnamon stick. Just put in a pan over med heat and cook till it is sauce. Awesome

  • I borrowed a few rubber gloves from the doctor’s office and found them to be terrific for doing dishes and preparing food. When I change working on different food groups, I can wash my gloved hands in hotter water and use dish washing soap. Then I tossed the trash and dumped out a few potted plants with no damage. On eBay, I can get these gloves for 5-7 cents each that fit either hand.

  • Looking at that Norman Rockwell painting, I can’t help but think how very different is the Thanksgiving meal suggested in this post. I’m an American living in London for 40 years, so have children and now grandchildren to feed for Christmas (nearly identical menu). I wouldn’t even consider buying jars of gravy, boxes of stuffing and cans of vegetables! We’re on a very limited income but I can always provide a real feast, tasty, healthy, grand and cheap, by making most of it from scratch. Start with soup: frozen spinach, couple of chopped onions, chicken bouillon powder, optional chopped potato, dash of nutmeg; boil till tender, then whizz till smooth, stir in some plain yogurt for a creamy finish. Could use frozen broccoli instead. Stuffing: first make a broth with the giblets, carrot, celery, onion, bay leaf, bouquet garni, S&P; trim and cube a white loaf and brown in the oven, then combine with plenty of chopped celery and onion sauteed in butter; season with S&P, sage and thyme and moisten with the giblet broth. Gravy: while the turkey is resting, brown the juices in the roasting pan, pour in the water from boiling your potatoes, and stir in your thickener made with flour and corn flour and a bit of extra-dry vermouth or dry white wine, plus seasoning, possibly soy/Worcestershire sauce to darken and add flavour. Vegetables: whatever’s colourful, in season & cheap: carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts (transformed by slicing thinly and sauteing in roasted sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds). OK, dessert’s not cheap but it’s quick: a completely homemade cheesecake topped with freshly whipped cream, slices of kiwi and little bunches of redcurrants. And the base is amazing … combine equal WEIGHTS (e.g. 6 oz) of ground hazelnuts and crushed (bought) best shortbread—nothing else—pressed into the base of your cheesecake pan. You’ll never use graham crackers again!
    Lots of work? Yes, but the time spent reflects the love for our family and the reasons we celebrate the Christmas or Thanksgiving feast. Do what you can the day before and get some help on the day.
    Phew! I didn’t mean to blather on so much, but if these major celebrations aren’t worth a bit of time and effort we might as well go out to McDonald’s! I remember my grandmother doing all this by herself for nine of us, and it was from her that I got my first cooking lessons. She was the wife of a prosperous lawyer but never forgot her roots as a farmer’s daughter and how to eat well without extravagance or waste. Lessons she passed on to her grandchildren and for which I’m grateful to this day. Go on, ladies, you know homemade tastes better and is healthier, and you’ll really deserve all the compliments!

    • I make all my own gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce from scratch as well.
      You don’t have to add “colouring” to your gravy if you brown the flour with your drippings first, then add whatever is left over from the giblet broth, (I also add some giblets for added flavour) and the potato liquid. I will add some wine, salt and pepper and let simmer until thickened.
      The cranberry “sauce” I make in advance about a week or so and just put a bag of cranberries with an orange (yes, peel and all), maybe a bit of sugar and process until everything is well processed. Then put it in a sterilized jam jar and in the fridge for the flavours to blend well. Delicious, not so sweet and it only takes a few minutes.
      For the stuffing: saute a chopped onion, celery, fresh sprig of thyme, and sage in oil/butter mixture then add to bread that has been sitting out for a day (to dry out a bit) mix well, add a touch of milk so that it sticks together and cook. (I take the bread slices, and tear into pieces by hand and let sit with a towel over them. Once in a while I will mix the pieces up so that they all get exposed to air and dry out a bit).

      • Making dinner from scratch is a lot cheaper, healthier and tastes SO much better than stuff from a box or jar. I think this is a good article for people who either don’t know how to cook or have difficulties cooking. That said, I think the title of the article or subtitle should reflect the true gist of the article – Thanksgiving dinner for $25 with minimal cooking. I was a bit disappointed with the article as I was expecting recipes or advice on how to get ingredients cheaper.

    • Loved your comment… I love your outlook on showing your love for the family by taking the time to make a homemade Thanksgiving meal. My family goes to my brother and sister-in-law’s house (it’s the biggest home in our family, so it’s the celebration house), they buy the turkey and make one or two sides, then the rest of the family brings one or two more sides each, rolls, desserts… there is a lot of yummy food, when we sit at the table we say a prayer and each person says what they are thankful for. It’s so special and enjoyable, really creates memories I love to think about.

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