The price of serving Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people hovers around $50. Depending on the size of your group, it could cost even more. It is always wise to search for ways to trim the cost of your meal. Some people have decided to do that by holding potluck dinners for the holiday. Others search for low-cost or free food items to put on their table. Here’s where you can find a free turkey this year!
Grocery Store Buy A Certain Amount, Get A Free Turkey
The easiest way to get a free turkey is through a promotion at your local grocer. Usually, these come in the form of “buy a certain amount of groceries and get a free turkey.”
Sometimes the dollar amount to get your turkey free is a bit high (like $100) though so you may be better off simply paying for the bird and your sides. However, if you’re already planning on doing your grocery shopping that week, you may be able to score a free turkey by spending the cash you’d normally spend anyway.
If you aren’t planning on spending $100 on groceries any time soon, you may consider offering to do your friends’ shopping for them. During this time of year, many people would appreciate not having to go into the stores themselves, and you can keep the free turkey as your “payment” for running their errands.
You can also decrease the total amount required to get a free turkey by using coupons. Generally, the amount to trigger your freebie is calculated prior to any coupons being applied.
It is important to note that many of these promotions have rules. Most of them will exclude gift cards and alcohol from qualifying purchases to get your turkey free.
Grocery Store Buy 1, Get 1 Free Turkey
BOGO turkeys are another popular promotion at this time of year. Sometimes it is to buy one turkey, get one free. Other times it may require you to buy another type of food. For instance, some stores may have a buy one ham, get a turkey free. This is a great way to prep for your Christmas dinner a month or more ahead of time while also trimming the cost of your Thanksgiving meal.
The same idea from above applies here as well. If you have friends or family that need help getting their shopping done, you can keep a free turkey for yourself!
‘Other’ Store Promotions
Places like Target have begun to roll out food sections in recent years. Sometimes this can be a great place to find a free or low-cost turkey. Most of the time, these stores compete with grocers by offer free turkey promotions. To find out if a store near you has this, check out the local newspaper advertisements in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
Find Local Contests
Depending on your location, there may be a few ways to win a free turkey too. Listen for local radio call-in contests and local news contests. You can also check the local newspaper and any community bulletins for additional opportunities. If you are motivated, you can discover a number of ways to score a free bird this Thanksgiving.
Search Through Your Junk Mail
Before you throw away your junk mail, flip through and see if there are any free turkey promotions hiding in there. For instance, a local car dealer may be giving away free turkeys to people who come down to test drive a vehicle (how easy is that?).
Trade on Craiglist
If you’re short on money but have something of value lying around the house, you may be able to trade the item on Craigslist for a Thanksgiving turkey. Although this isn’t completely “free,” you won’t have to spend a dime on your turkey.
Pay Attention to Catalina Coupons
Catalina coupons are typically printed out at checkout or sit by the cash register for customers. Some of these may offer a certain dollar amount off your entire purchase. If you are able to find one to cover the purchase of a turkey, it is an easy way to get it for free.
Keep an eye out for this kind of coupon throughout the year and you can get a few hundred dollars worth of food for free. If you don’t see them by the checkout, you can also check empty carts and trash cans near the checkout. Many people toss these coupons out without a second thought.
Where to Get a Turkey If You Can’t Afford One
Not everyone is able to make the purchases necessary to get a free turkey. If you simply can’t afford one, there are a number of options available to you to get a Thanksgiving meal on the table at no cost to you.
Almost all local food banks will have turkeys to give away for the holidays. Many grocery stores offer the option to donate your second turkey from BOGO sales to charity. Because most people don’t need two turkeys, it benefits food banks greatly. Grocers are also known to donate their excess turkeys to food banks after Thanksgiving as well.
United Way is a fantastic organization that will be able to connect you with a partner to help you get a free turkey. This organization has connections in every community that can assist you with your Thanksgiving meal and just about any other social service you may need.
Reach Out on Craigslist
Craigslist was mentioned above as a way to get a free turkey by trading items for the food. However, you can also make a request on these sites. Give a detailed story of why you need the assistance around the holidays. This isn’t a guaranteed route to getting a turkey for free but it is worth a try if you’re in need.
Local Charities and Agencies
Churches and social service agencies in the area are also likely to be giving away free turkey to those in need. If your church is not offering this they will likely have contacts of where you may be able to get help.
Post to Social Media
There is no doubt social media has the ability to make a huge impact in the lives of, well, everyone. Putting out a simple request to your friends or followers may result in getting help. There are also a number of Reddit threads for “random acts of kindness.” These may be good places to request a free turkey as well.
Lastly, if getting a free turkey sounds like a hassle, you can go to the grocery store and just pick one out. Stay tuned for information on what grocers have the best prices this year!