YOUR MONEY: How to save money on your Thanksgiving feast

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 10:15 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 7:52 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With supply chain shortages and food costs increasing, you might be worried about how much your Thanksgiving feast is going to cost.

Laurentia Romaniuk is a senior product manager and Trends Expert at Instacart.

She said a recent poll shows roughly half of Americans are worried about putting together Thanksgiving dinner because of inflation and things not being available in stores.

That’s why she recommends families do a couple of things to prepare for the big feast without breaking the budget.

First, she recommends stocking up the pantry and freezer now. Think of what you want on your menu and get those ingredients now. Many families are going for the same staple ingredients, so it’s going to be harder to find those items and potentially even more costly to get them next week.

Next, consider using frozen produce instead of fresh. It’s cheaper this way and you can store it for longer.

Also, Romaniuk recommends using items that are in season.

“Customers should shop seasonal,” she said. “Things like squash, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes - all of these types of produce are going to be more abundant, meaning prices should be lower and because there’s a lot of them, they should be in stock.”

Another trend they found is that customers are either downsizing or doing away with turkey.

“It’s by far the most expensive part of the menu and what some customers have been doing or I should say, an increasing number are doing, is they’re buying smaller parts of the bird. Turkey legs, turkey thighs, turkey wings, turkey breast, things like that. Some customers are skipping the bird altogether and they’re looking for things like tofu-based meats,” explained Romaniuk.

If you choose to shop for groceries through Instacart, there’s a section on the app called “Deals” for express members. There, you can see all of the best savings on food at your local grocery stores.

Here’s another option to save big. There’s an app called “Ibotta” where you can get some free Thanksgiving dinner items with qualifying terms. Ibotta is bringing back its “Free Thanksgiving Dinner” promotion for the second year where it offers 100% cash back on 10 select items as long as you buy them at Walmart.

So, you have a couple of options to save this Thanksgiving, but in order to save, start preparing now.

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