Thanksgiving Dinner This Year for Only $5 Per Person with

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Here are some tips to make the most important holiday meal of the year a huge success without breaking the bank

Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s time to shop and prepare for the most important holiday meal of the year. Stephanie Nelson, founder of, says if you plan now, this year’s turkey day feast can cost as little as $5 per person, and might prove to be one of the best deals you make this year.

“If you know how to shop and follow our tips, you will find most of the traditional items on your list are either going to be on sale or have significant coupon offers to bring the cost down,” said Nelson.

Start with a plan to spend apx. $15 on a frozen turkey (depending on the number of guests,) get sale-priced green beans and sweet potatoes, then use coupons or store brands on cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, and pie, said Nelson. She added shoppers will be shocked at just how affordable hosting the event will be. is a free money saving website that has over 7 million members. Stephanie Nelson is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country and has been on every major national television talk show teaching millions how to save money for the past 13 years.

By shopping sales and using coupons, save big while your family and friends rave about the delicious meal. Just follow these tips for saving:

1. Frozen Turkey: The single most expensive item on your holiday menu is the turkey. The best way to cut your turkey cost dramatically is to buy the frozen turkey versus the fresh turkey, a frozen bird tastes the same and saves you a lot of money. Frozen costs about half the price per pound compared with fresh. Be sure and buy in plenty of time for thawing.

2. Have a Plan: The key to saving on groceries is taking time to plan your list and shopping strategy-it will be well worth it! Traditional dishes are the most popular with Stephanie’s family and their ingredients are always the featured sale items at the stores. Sit down and list the dishes you plan to make and the ingredients you will need to buy. Inventory your kitchen to see what you already have on hand and make your list accordingly.

3. Save by Substituting: You can also save by avoiding expensive ingredients. For example, instead of using $4 of pecans for a sweet potato casserole topping, use a crumble topping with oatmeal, butter and brown sugar (from an apple crisp recipe) that costs pennies to make. It is also less expensive to bake a pumpkin pie than an apple pie or buy a frozen apple pie on sale with a coupon for less than it would cost to make.

4. Be Coupon Crazed: Thanksgiving is a grocery coupon bonanza. The coupon circulars in the newspaper have more coupons than usual in the Sundays prior to Thanksgiving. Coupons for common Thanksgiving ingredients abound, such as stuffing mix, baking ingredients, frozen vegetables, gravy, dinner rolls, turkeys and more. You can also print many good grocery coupons online from It’s possible to find a coupon for every Thanksgiving food item!

5. Shop Prices From Home: Review the weekly advertising circulars for all nearby grocery stores to see which stores have the best prices for your items. Each store will feature a few of your items as rock-bottom sale items. It may make sense to spread your shopping between two stores so that you can "cherry-pick" the best deals at each. Ask your stores if they have a price-matching policy. If one does, you can take the ads from all the stores to the price-matching store and get the lowest available price on every item in one place. Find your stores' best deals, matching sales prices with coupons, using the Grocery Deals lists at that cover stores in 50 states.

Also, remember to take advantage of ultra-bargains after Thanksgiving and stock up for future meals. If you have the freezer space, buy an extra turkey or two. One year, Stephanie said she bought a couple dozen cans of pumpkin for 10 cents.

Nelson has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, “The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half,” is a New York Times best seller.

To find the best coupons and sales guides for stores in your area, go to:

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Nanette Noffsinger
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