These Grocery Stores Will Give You a Free Thanksgiving Turkey

Roasted chicken with herbs and spices
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Now that November is in full swing, one thing is 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 turkey might be the time-honored centerpiece of most Thanksgiving Day meals, it sure ain’t cheap.

Unless your bird’s pretty small (and you’re willing to forgo leftovers), you’re still likely pay $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.

It’s not worth it to buy $100 of random items just to score a bird you could get for $20. But 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.

Here’s where to go to get a free turkey this year.

1. Fareway

Stop by your local Fareway before Nov. 22 and spend $50 or more at the meat counter to receive a 14-pound Fareway Basted Turkey for free.

The offer is limited to one per order and is not valid with any other offer.

2. Giant/Martin’s

After a two-year hiatus, Giant/Martin’s has brought back its free turkey promotion.

According to a recent press release, customers expressed how much they’ve missed the free turkey promotion and Giant couldn’t think of a better time than its 95th anniversary to bring it back.

Once again, reward members can earn extra reward points toward a free turkey every time they use their BonusCard through Nov. 22. Once you reach 400 rewards points, you get a certificate for a free turkey.

Free turkey certificates can be redeemed from Nov. 9 through Nov. 22.

3. ShopRite

Earn points on purchases through Nov. 22 — Thanksgiving Day — with your (free!) Price Plus club card.

Once you spend a certain amount, you can present your Price Plus club card to the cashier to receive a free turkey, ham, turkey breast, kosher chicken, lasagna or tofurky.

You can pick up your free item any day up to and including Thanksgiving Day. (Note that 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!)

4. Weis Market

If you’re part of Weis’s rewards program, your reward points could get you a Thanksgiving turkey for free.

It’s pretty simple: You earn one point for every dollar you spend, and it takes 400 points to receive a free turkey.

That might seem like a lot — and it is! — but it includes purchases from Oct. 4. to now.  If you spend $50 per week on groceries and have been shopping at Weis each week since then, you’ll be more than covered by Thanksgiving.

And even if you don’t earn 400 points in time, you can use 100 points toward these holiday rewards:

  • 25 cents per pound off Weis frozen turkey.
  • 25 cents per pound off smoked ham portions.
  • 49 cents per pound off Butterball frozen turkey or frozen turkey breast.
  • 99 cents per pound off John F. Martin Boneless Ham or Weis Quality Spiral Ham.
  • 99 cents per pound off Stouffer’s Party Lasagna, 90 oz. or 96 oz.
  • $1 per pound off fresh turkeys and roasting chicken.

It’s important to note that your points do have an expiration date, which is printed on the bottom of your receipts.

And in case you’re hosting dinner on a different day, you can redeem Weis’ holiday rewards anytime through Nov. 22.

Free Thanksgiving Turkey and Meals for Families in Need

If you simply can’t afford to spend the money to get a free turkey from the grocery stores above, you can look to your community for help.

Food Banks

Food banks are hard at work hosting turkey drives and fundraising events to help put Thanksgiving meals on the tables of those in need. Food bank turkey distributions are usually held during the weekend before and days leading up to Thanksgiving. If you’re not sure where to find your local food bank, you can search by state or ZIP code here.

United Way

United Way chapters also host turkey drives to help families in need. For example, the Heart of Florida United Way hosted its Thanksgiving Project Food Drive to help provide Florida families with all of the ingredients need to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. You can search for your local United Way chapter here.

Churches and Charities

Local churches and charities have also been collecting donated items to provide low-income families in their communities with Thanksgiving meals. This church in North Carolina has been collecting items to give the first 1,000 people to visit the church on Nov. 20 a box that feeds up to five people and includes a frozen turkey, potatoes, green beans, an apple pie and other fixings.

Be sure to check with your church or local charities if you need help providing your family with a Thanksgiving meal, or if you would like to contribute to this wonderful cause.

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) has written for SELF, Ms. Magazine, Roads & Kingdoms, VinePair, The Write Life, Barclaycard’s Travel Blog, Santander Bank’s Prosper and Thrive and other outlets. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel and frugality.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She updated this post for 2018.