On Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will be gathered around the table enjoying their loved ones and good food while reflecting on what they’re most thankful for.
Thanksgiving is a great holiday for reflection and gratitude but most people also look forward to the delicious food as well. So long as you’re not vegan or vegetarian, there’s a huge chance that your meal will consist of turkey, a common Thanksgiving staple food.
Some people roast it in the oven. Some fry it. Others purchase it ready-made from the store.
Regardless of how it’s prepared, you’re probably interested in seeing how you can score a free turkey this Thanksgiving instead of having to pay out of pocket for it.
Getting a free turkey this Thanksgiving won’t be easy peasy for everyone but if you’re creative, you can make it happen and save yourself some money in the process.
1. Do All Thanksgiving Shopping at One Store
While one of the most commonly recommended ways to save money on your Thanksgiving meal is to crowdsource it, that may not always be the best option to save. Sure, potlucks can help you spend less of your own money since everyone pitches in by purchasing part of the meal.
However, when it comes to Thanksgiving, grocery stores want you to do the bulk of your shopping at one place – their store. Some will even entice you with cash back offer that you can use for your free turkey.
Stores like Albertsons, Safeway, and Acme has all offered shoppers a free turkey if you spend $100 in their store during a shopping trip. This is a great incentive to do all your holiday meal shopping or even your regular grocery shopping at the store so you can take advantage of the deal.
Even if your holiday meal won’t cost $100, you can easily get to that amount with regular weekly grocery shopping so you’re not tempted to overspend or buy unnecessary items just to get the free turkey coupon.
Last year, stores like Target and WinCo offered a cash back coupon for shoppers who spent only $50 on food or beverage purchases in their store around the Thanksgiving season.
If you still want to crowdsource your holiday dinner, you can ask anyone in charge or paying for a particular dish to pay you the money upfront and in advance so you can do all the shopping at one store. This will help them avoid the hassle of shopping altogether and allow you to earn your free turkey.
2. Buy a Ham
Turkey and ham go perfectly together when preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Each year, some stores sell both as a BOGO option where you can buy one ham and get a free turkey or vice versa.
Normally, there are brand and weight requirements for the free turkey but it’s still not a bad deal. I personally like the turkeys that come with a pop-up timer so I can easily tell when they’re done cooking. Stores like Schnucks and HEB offered a free 10 – 14 lb turkey last year with the purchase of a ham. These were quality brands as well with a pop-up timer option for newbie turkey chefs like myself.
3. Use Store Reward Points
Your local pharmacy or gas stations aren’t the only places that offer loyalty rewards. Your favorite grocery store may have a program as well. Again, this is where store loyalty may come in handy. If you regularly shop for groceries at a particular store and like the quality of their food, see if they have a reward program.
Each time you shop, you’ll earn rewards that you can redeem for items in the store over time. For example, ShopRite is a store that has several locations on the East coast and they offer a great rewards program with rewards and coupons.
Last year, they promoted a free Thanksgiving turkey offer for over a month. Shoppers has to accrue a specific amount of Price Plus Club reward points and if they did, they could receive a free 21-pound turkey or ham.
It’s important to get familiar with the stores in your area and pay attention to their reward programs if you want to take advantage of deals like this.It's not impossible to get your Thanksgiving turkey for free! Click To Tweet
4. Local Food Pantries
If you are experiencing hard times and you have a low grocery budget or cannot even afford a turkey for your holiday meal, food pantries in your area should be able to help.
Stores donate tons of food during the month of Thanksgiving to help give back to the community. Some food pantries have requirements but they are not super strict.
For example, you may or may not need to register and verify any income you have before receiving assistance. Others just require you to bring an ID and piece of mail to verify that you’re a state or community resident. Other than that, they ask no questions.
Starting in October, be on the lookout for announcements so you can plan accordingly. Arrive early on the giveaway day to avoid waiting in line for extended periods of time.
5. Community Organizations
Food pantries aren’t the only places you can get a free turkey this year. Community organizations and local churches may also be hosting free turkey giveaways for people in need. These events are open to the public and no questions are asked.
The downside is that some new outlets announce these events after the fact or when it’s almost too late. If no one is reporting on upcoming events, you’ll need to do your due diligence and contact organizations who’ve hosted giveaways in the past or check local event sites so you can mark your calendar.
These events are extremely helpful to people who need a helping hand around the holidays. There may be free turkeys along with other food items to prepare a tasty Thanksgiving meal for the whole family.
Summing It Up
Scoring a free turkey for Thanksgiving isn’t impossible. You just need to think outside of the box. That may mean looking into giveaways, joining rewards programs, or shopping wisely at your favorite store.
Consider one of these 5 solutions to get a free turkey and cut the cost of your Thanksgiving meal.
Have you ever gotten a free turkey?