These Grocery Stores Will Give You a Free Turkey for Thanksgiving
Turkey is the time-honored centerpiece of most Thanksgiving Day meals and we’ve gotten used to it being an economical buy, especially as the holiday grows closer.
But with inflation and food prices up more than they were this time last year, everyone’s looking for ways to save money this holiday season, especially since Thanksgiving can still be pricey.
And as for that delicious bird?
Farm Bureau says the cost of an 8 to 16 pound turkey will likely drop 22% this year, due to the drastic drop in bird influenza cases. The average price per pound of a whole turkey sits at $1.27 per pound.
Even though Thanksgiving might be less expensive this year, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for deals at every chance you get. And the good news is consumers still have plenty of options when it comes to getting inexpensive and even free Thanksgiving turkeys.
We’ve rounded up some of the best deals in 2023 to make sure you have that delicious bird as the centerpiece at your Thanksgiving table.
How to Get a Free Turkey This Year
Luckily, there are a number of grocers who offer free turkey promotions to bring more hungry holiday shoppers into their stores and to help keep budgets in check.
In general, it’s not worth it to spend $300 on random items just to score a bird you could get for $20 to $30. But if you’re going to spend that money anyway, why not get the turkey on the house?
Think about some of the food you’ll be making for holiday celebrations and if you need to stock up on spices, dried herbs or other shelf-stable ingredients, you can buy those now. Stock, flour, sugar, canned goods and more will keep through the next cooking cycle.
One word of warning on our list: All of these offers vary by store, so you’ll want to call ahead to make sure your favorite location is participating.
Here are stores that have announced their free turkey promos for 2023.
1. Acme Markets
Then, you’ll have to spend $400 or more while shopping through Nov. 23. After you’ve met that minimum spend, you can claim your free turkey at the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states chain.
Foodtown locations in the Northeast are rewarding customers with a free 10- to 20-pound turkey when they shop with their Club Card. You will need to spend $400 before Thanksgiving.
If you don’t want a whole frozen turkey, you also have the option to choose a ham, a turkey breast, a family size Stouffer’s frozen lasagna, or a $10 Foodtown gift card.
If you can bank 400 Giant Choice Reward points by Nov. 24, you can redeem your points for a certificate for a free turkey up to 20 pounds.
If turkey isn’t your thing, you can also redeem your certificate for a free Stouffer’s family-size lasagna or a free tofurky roast. You can also choose to donate your turkey through Giant to a local food bank.
You can redeem your certificate beginning Nov. 1.
Purchase a Hormel Cure 81 ham or a Honeysuckle turkey , and Hy-Vee will reward you with a free 10- to 14-pound Honeysuckle turkey.
First, you have to earn points on purchases from Oct. 15 through Thanksgiving with your Price Plus club card.
Once you spend a certain amount (check your local store’s circular for details), present your Price Plus club card to the cashier to receive one of 10 free items, including a free turkey up to 21 pounds, turkey breast, chicken, lasagna, Gardein plant-based roast, tofurky, ham or a whole picnic.
You can pick up your free item any day up to and including Thanksgiving Day.
6. Weis Market
If you’re part of Weis’ rewards program, your reward points could get you a Thanksgiving turkey for free.
It’s pretty simple: From October 15 through November 23, you earn one point for every dollar you spend, and it takes 400 points to receive a free turkey, tofurky roast, tofurky ham, frozen lasagna or frozen mac and cheese.
You also have the option to purchase discounted turkeys and hams after earning 200 points. For example, a Weis frozen turkey can be had for 69 cents per pound after you spend 200 points in the rewards program.
It’s important to note that your points do have an expiration date, which is printed on the bottom of your receipts. You can claim your free turkey until Nov. 23.
If you spend $125 on a trip to WinCo between Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, you can get a free frozen HoneySuckle White or Jennie-O Grade A turkey.
This deal is limited to one turkey per family, while supplies last. And if you’re a Butterball fan, you’re out of luck. The free deal is for Jennie-O and Honeysuckle turkeys only.
Where to Get a Turkey for Cheap
According to the USDA, the average price of a whole turkey this year can cost anywhere from $1.99 to $2.49 per pound, depending on where you live.
Here are some other stores offering reasonable prices, some even lower than the USDA’s estimates, as well as some stores where we can expect prices to go down during Thanksgiving promotions over the next few weeks.
Whole turkeys are currently going for $1.27 per pound, as advertised at Aldi.
This is lower than the average, but Aldi is known for offering even lower prices during the week of Thanksgiving. Your price may vary by region.
9. City Market
Keep an eye out for even better deals throughout the month of November. In the past, City Market, a Kroger store in the Rocky Mountains region, has offered deals for shoppers who met a minimum spend of $25.
10. Cub Food
Currently, Cub Food offers a range of whole turkeys for sale — including 12- to 15-pound Butterballs at $2.69 per pound, an 18-pound Essential Everyday turkey for $2.29 per pound and an 8-pound Honeysuckle frozen turkey breast for $23.92 ($2.99 per pound).
But keep your eyes on the Cub Food weekly ads in the coming weeks. Turkeys have been discounted in the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving in past years. Good news for folks in Illinois and Minnesota, where the Cub Food stores are located.
Currently, you can get a Meijer frozen turkey for $1.70 per pound, a Butterball for $1.50 per pound, or a Honeysuckle frozen turkey for $1.40 per pound at the Midwestern chain Meijer..
However, this is another store that tends to offer great promotional pricing during the month of November, especially for the store’s mPerks members.
This large chain store also has a wide variety of whole frozen turkey options.
The brands range from Butterball to O Organics to Open Nature to Signature Farms. Depending on the brand, prices are typically offered between $2.29 to $4.99 per pound.
Shaw’s also has the usual brand name offerings like Butterball and O Organics, plus more, that sell for between $1.29 to $2.99 per pound.
In the past during the week of Thanksgiving, Shaw’s offered discounted turkeys to customers who made a $25 purchase. Look out for other possible deals like that to save you a lot of money at the Northeastern food chain.
Shaw’s also tends to price match during the holiday season, so if you see a lower price elsewhere be sure to talk to your cashier.
Walmart currently offers some of the best deals on this list with incredible savings.
They currently have a 16- to 24-pound Butterball turkey for $26.56 or $1.28 per pound. You can also choose a 10- to 16-pound Butterball for $18.34, , or a Honeysuckle frozen turkey for $20.94 or 98 cents per pound.
Currently, you can get a Butterball frozen turkey for $2.39 per pound, as well as a Shady Brook brand whole turkey for $31.69 for a 14-pound bird.
In years past, the beloved Northeast food chain now in some Mid-Atlantic states has offered turkey for a nice discount in the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, and also offers a price-match guarantee.
Free Thanksgiving Turkey and Meals for Families in Need
If you or someone you know 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.
16. 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. You can search by state or ZIP code for your local food bank, as well as food pantries.
17. United Way
United Way chapters also host turkey drives to help families in need. You can search for your local United Way chapter, or you can use the United Way 211 resource to contact a representative who can possibly help you find free turkeys or meals in your area.
18. Meals on Wheels
Many Meals on Wheels providers have a program specifically for the holiday season, like this Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels program offered in Minneapolis-St.Paul last year.
These meals consist of turkey, dressing, potatoes, peas, corn, cranberries, rolls, pumpkin pie and milk. They are delivered directly to your home, and available to all families and individuals in need — not just seniors.
You can see what programs are available in your area by contacting your local Meals on Wheels.
19. Salvation Army
The Salvation Army also gives free Thanksgiving dinners to those in need. Each program is administered locally, so you will want to look up your local chapter.
20. Churches and Charities
Many local churches and charities usually collect donated food items to provide low-income families in their communities with Thanksgiving meals. Check with your church or local charity if you need help providing your family with a Thanksgiving meal.