Now that November’s in full swing, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind.
It starts with a “T” and ends with a “Y” — or maybe a “Why… did I let myself eat so freaking much?” as you slump over on the couch.
But while the turkey might be the time-honored centerpiece of most Thanksgiving Day meals (though not all!), it sure ain’t cheap.
Unless your bird’s under about 13 pounds (unacceptably small in my household) you’re looking at paying $20 or more.
And that’s just one element of your Thanksgiving dinner.
How to Get a Free Turkey This Year
To help offset this major holiday cost — and to bring more hungry holiday shoppers into their stores — many grocery chains run specials that allow you to get a free turkey (or other holiday centerpiece) through their rewards programs.
And while it might not be worth it to buy $100 worth of random items just to score a bird you could get for $20, if you’re going to spend that money anyway, why not get the turkey on the house?
One word of warning: All of these offers vary by store, so you’ll want to call ahead and make sure your favorite location is participating.
And sorry, Giant shoppers! Your beloved market decided to stop its popular program this year.
Here’s where to go instead to get a free turkey.
Confirmed Free Turkeys
The following stores have confirmed free turkey offers for 2016.
Acme’s offering a free Jennie-O Grade A frozen turkey between 10 and 22 pounds — or a frozen turkey breast between four and seven pounds — when you spend $100 or more in a single transaction.
You must log in to Acme’s site to access the coupon, which expires on Nov. 17.
Earn points on purchases through Nov. 24 — Thanksgiving Day — with your (free!) Price Plus club card.
Once you spend a certain amount, choose from a variety of free items, including a whole frozen turkey, a frozen roasting chicken, canned or smoked hams, pork picnics and lasagna. The qualifying spend might differ from store to store, so check with yours before planning your shopping.
You can pick up your free item any day up to, and including, Thanksgiving itself. (That said, the turkey is frozen, so you’ll want to pick it up well ahead of time if you plan to make it for the big meal!)
And if you want to go fresh — or didn’t quite plan it out well enough — you’ll get your kosher bird for $1.49 off per pound up to 21 pounds.
If you’re part of Weis’s free Preferred Shopper’s Club, your rewards points could get you a Thanksgiving turkey for free.
It’s pretty simple: You accrue 10 points for every $50.00 you spend, and it takes 50 — that’s a $250 spend — points to get a free Weis Quality frozen turkey up to 20 pounds.
That might seem like a lot — and it is! — but it includes purchases starting on Oct. 9. If you spend $50 per week on groceries and have been shopping at Weis each week since then, you’re more than covered.
It’s important to note that you must spend $50 in one calendar day to get your 10 points. If you spend $45 on Monday and then $10 on Tuesday, you won’t get any rewards points despite having spent more than the required $50.
And in New York State, it’s a little different: You get a point for every dollar you spend, and you’ll need 500 points for your free bird.
Once you qualify, you can also choose a whole boneless ham up to six pounds, a smoked ham “portion” up to 10 pounds, a 40-ounce tofurkey, “party-size” lasagna, or 80 cents off per pound of a variety of other fresh and frozen holiday centerpiece meats.
And in case you’re hosting dinner on a different day, you can redeem Weis’s holiday rewards between Nov. 10 and Nov. 25.
Potential Free Turkeys
While these grocers have offered free turkeys in the past, we’re still waiting to confirm whether they’ll offer deals this year. We’ll update this post as soon as we hear back — or, if you’ve got the scoop, tweet @JamieCattanach!
In the meantime, be sure to keep your eye on your weekly circular. Your local store may have already published its offer!
Money Saving Mom found an ad for a free frozen turkey at Safeway — up to 16 pounds when you spend $100, or over 16 pounds when you spend $150.
It looks like the deal’s only good through Nov. 8, though. Hopefully it’ll run another promotion for the rest of the month, but otherwise, hurry in — you can always stock up on paper products, right?
Kroger and Fred Meyer
Last year, Kroger — the parent company for Fred Meyer — offered a free turkey with a $150 spend. Let’s see if it runs a similar deal this year!
Your Turn: Will you gobble up a free bird this year?
Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.