Be Realistic to Make it a Cheaper Thanksgiving

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.  (WHNT) - Now that we're into the holiday season, why not give yourself an early gift of saving money for Thanksgiving?

WHNT NEWS 19 took action to scour the web and call around town to find ways for you to save money.

First, there's some good news to report when it comes to the cost of Thanksgiving this year compared to last.

USA Today reports Americans will save about 44 cents per person from last year.

The cost for a Thanksgiving meal for ten is about $49 and change, which is less than five dollars per serving.  Those savings come thanks to the birds.

A 16 pound turkey costs just under $22, according to an average compiled by 167 volunteer shoppers checking prices at grocery stores across 34 states.

When looking for deals online, there's one site that shows you how to feed a small family for $25.  The key is finding a turkey for about $10 and choosing smaller servings of gravy, rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans and sparkling cider.

If you plan to start assembling your meal on Monday, November 25th, Honey Baked Ham on South Memorial Parkway calls today "VIP" day -- very intelligent person day.  The staff says today is the day when folks who stop by can avoid the chaos of procrastinators and also enjoy free samples of smoked and roasted turkey and their walnut cranberry chutney.

The staff there recommends you check the coupons from the Huntsville Times to save money on a turkey, ham or the fixins there.  It's worth noting everything at Honey Baked Ham is sold a la carte.

If you're looking for the whole meal already assembled for you, you have several options.  Publix, Kroger, and Cracker Barrel have deals for you starting at around $45.  They go higher from there depending on how many people are coming to your table.  Most stores set their deadline for ordering at Tuesday, November 26th, requiring pick up on Wednesday, November 27th.  However, the staff at Publix said if they have leftovers, they could put something together last-minute.

For the worst procrastinators, Cracker Barrel will let you order on Thanksgiving Day for a pick-up of four hours later.  The cost is $54.99 for a family of six, which is about nine dollars per person.  The dinner comes with turkey, some baked ham, dressing, 3 veggies, cranberry relish, and biscuits, muffins or sour dough bread.

Some other quick tips: when cooking, use the oven wisely and do everything all at one time and don't forget the BBQ, which you can use at the same time too.

Be realistic about servings. Calculate how much you need to make for the amount of people, so there's not too much left over that could go to waste.

Also, consider trying a new tradition to save money: a Thanksgiving potluck.

Ask your dinner guests to bring their favorite dish, dessert, or drink to share with everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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