8/22/2014

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Consumer

Which store has the cheapest Thanksgiving dinner?

Which store has the cheapest Thanksgiving dinner?

SEATTLE --  Good news: The cost of your Thanksgiving meal this year has dropped for the first time in three years. The American Farm Bureau Federation says last year's cost was the highest ever in its 28 years of keeping track of this expense. This year, the national average for a full turkey dinner for 10 is $49.04.  That's 44 cents lower than last year.

Unfortunately, our cost is not that low Western Washington.

So where can you shop to save as much as possible?  The KOMO 4 Problem Solvers did the leg work for you buy shopping at four stores: QFC, Safeway and Trader Joes - plus Amazon Fresh, online.

We created a standard grocery list: Turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, the ingredients for green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, butter and pie.

At AmazonFresh, we clicked through our list finding everything needed, but selection on some items however is limited and there's a delivery charge.  

Robin Easton doesn't care.

"A regular order you know can take me 10 minutes," she said.  "Where it would take me an hour by the time I pile the kids in the strollers and get to the store and walk around, pick it all up, wait for it to be bagged and everything."

Shopping in store, we found plenty of items on sale at Safeway and QFC, like stuffing mix for just $2 at either store.  We paid twice that at Trader Joe's. But both the French fried onions and butter were cheaper at Trader Joe's.

By far the most expensive part of any dinner is that turkey.  Shop this around and you can really save money.  

We bought a frozen turkey at Safeway for $1.59 a pound.  A Frozen bird at QFC ran $2.59 a pound.  Trader Joe's offered fresh turkeys for $1.99 a pound.

So where did the final totals end up?

Amazon Fresh ran $90.76 with the delivery charge.  The QFC bill came in at $54 with our advantage card. Without it you're up to $76.38.

Safeway totaled $56.37 - again using the card savings. Without, it'd be $61.33.

But Trader Joes was the winner at $52.83.

And don't forget, if you buy frozen, allow plenty of time to defrost it before cooking.  Rule of thumb here is 24 hours in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of bird.

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