Lately I haven’t been as good about clipping coupons as I could be. It isn’t that I don’t like doing it, I just haven’t put forth the effort. In reality, with the economy what it is, I should be focusing even more than I used to.My frugal tendencies are nothing new… Just the other day, hubby was recounting a story for my dad. Way back in the day when Prodigy was one of the few places online to gather for information and trading coupons, I was a very active coupon-clipper. I traded the baby and pet coupons from the Sunday paper for household products and cereal. It was not uncommon for me to get loss-leader cereal for nothing or next to nothing. Actually, I purchased it faster than we could consume it. So atop the cabinet in my small apartment kitchen, there was a row of cereal lined up neatly and looked like books on a bookshelf.These days, I spend more time sorting through all the weekly advertisements to haul on my regular grocery shopping trip to Walmart. Sure, I gather coupons if I have the time before going. But usually, I’m happy just to have Walmart match the competitors’ ads.Speaking of grocery shopping… Unless you haven’t looked at a calendar lately, you realize that this upcoming Thursday is Thanksgiving. When people put together their Thanksgiving shopping list, many lists contain the same basic staples: turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and of course, dessert. Although different variations occur from there, those items are pretty common. Thinking through the cooking aspect of it can be overwhelming but in times of economic difficulties, the financial part of the dinner is more devastating. A few dollars here, some more there… some people may forgo the big meal because they don’t feel they can afford it.

In true Walmart fashion, not everything has to be out of your price range. A Walmart advertisement arrived in the local paper and referenced the Thanksgiving promotion of “Turkey dinner for eight for as low as $20”. Money saving tips and recipes can be found on Walmart’s Holiday Meals site. Additional details of Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving feast are there too. Here’s what the feast includes:

  • One 12-pound Grade A turkey*
  • Three 11 to 15.5-ounce cans Green Giant vegetables
  • Two 14-ounce cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce
  • Three 6-ounce boxes of Stove Top stuffing
  • One 5-pound bag of red potatoes
  • One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls
  • One 22-ounce pumpkin roll cake

(*Prices and availability may vary in AK, HI, OK, NM, WI and at Walmart.com. Prices on select Grade A turkeys begin November 4; limit two turkeys per customer; weights and brands vary by store. Quantities are limited; no rain checks. All prices do not include tax.)

It’s a great promotion and I’m glad to be able to let people know about it. But as a thank you from Mom Central and Walmart for posting about this promotion, I have received a $30 Walmart gift card. The great news for you, other than this money-saving Thanksgiving dinner, is that Mom Central and Walmart have sent along two additional $30 Walmart gift cards for me to share with two of my readers! So if you’re a Walmart shopper and plan to do some holiday shopping there, keep reading for details on how to enter this great giveaway… compliments of Walmart and Mom Central!

The Prize: $30 Walmart Gift Card (2 Winners!)

Participants –
…must provide a US shipping address
…must provide an email in the first comment, email me directly with an email address or have email accessible from their profile.
Sometime on November 30, 2009, two winners will be chosen at random (using random.org) from all valid comments left. Winners have 72 hours from posting/notification to respond. If winner cannot be contacted, I will move on to the next random selection.

How to enter: (CONTEST CLOSED)

389 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Can Be Affordable

  1. I find that I'm fixing more casseroles and one-dish meals. They tend to have all of the ingredients of a meal in them, stretch further through the week, and generally are less expensive than seperate servings of foods.

  2. This is to inform you that I also won an Walmrt Gift Card of $200.
    Then I talked to the companies and collected some cool offers.

    My Offer of $1000 Walmart Gift Card is just to vote for a movie. Only 5min job including watching trailers to vote for.

    People really won as they thanked me via mail for availing this Offer for real.

    I am still having that Offer

  3. I have been using the great coupons that are out there mixed with the sales to save money. I also notice that our meals are cheaper during the fall/winter season because casseroles, soups, and stews seem to be cheaper to make.

    denise_22315 at yahoo dot com

  4. I could ALWAYS put a Walmart gift card to good use!! I am VERY impressed by their $20 holiday meal!! One thing I do to save is buy the shallow pie pans for my pies…that way mix for one pie will actually make two. Then I volunteer to send pies to all events – family, my son's school party, work, etc…a little pie mix will go a long way – send some toppings with it, like whip cream –

  5. I always buy the super cheap cans of green beans, put in a pan with olive oil drizzled over the top and one chicken bouillon cube per two cans…cook on medium for about 45 minutes and they are soooo yummy!! Everyone always asks me to bring my green beans because the flavor is so yummy…and…THEY'RE CHEAP!! 🙂

    jamieandandre at bellsouth dot net

  6. Low Calorie Cranberry Sauce

    1 12ounce pk. cranberries
    fruit juice or water
    sugar substitute

    combine cranberries and fruit juice(or water)in saucepan. Heat to boiling,reduce heat to low and simmer 15 min.
    Remove from heat, cool to room temp, stir in sugar substitute.
    Let sit for at least 4hrs.


  7. I have honestly never had to make a holiday meal, since we always spend the holidays with family (at their house and enjoying their cooking.) I do usually take a dish to pass and tend to save a bit by using homegrown fruits or veggies. I'm thinking I'll be making something with the pumpkin we grew for the holidays this year 🙂

    khmorgan_00 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. We like to make things from scratch which saves money. Watching for sales and using coupons helps too. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    misterjimmy at sbcglobal dot net

  9. I am a big fan of making things from scratch instead of using prepackaged mixes. This saves money. I also use produce that is in season, it saves alot when you use the in season produce.

  10. How I Make turkey yummy cheap!
    I rub down the turkey with butter and add a spice called meat seasoning that you can pick up from the dollar store for fifty cents and a whole chopped up onion and bake as directed! It is so good and a cheap way of adding flavor!

  11. Budget friendly: make homemade mashed potatoes (you can always find them on sale this time of year – I got 15 lbs for $1.98) and make gravy from the turkey drippings. Just pot in a pan when the turkey is done and thicken it up over heat with some corn starch. Much cheaper than buying premade gravies and very tasty.

  12. We cut back by using can cranberry sauce instead of making homemade. We also try to make our pies homemade. Its usually cheaper because you already have many of the ingredients, and its tastier!

  13. Cheap pumpkin Pie… 🙂

    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
    1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
    Whipped cream (optional)
    MIX sugar,

  14. I try to pick homemade foods like mashed potatoes from real potatoes instead of package mix. I watch for sales – like this one at Walmart – and use my coupons too!

  15. Coupons & doing my homework (list-making, matching q's, etc) before I go to the store! From the Walmart site, can't wait to try the Creamed Corn Gratin ~ looks yummy and frugal!!

  16. Pineapple Casserole

    1 16 oz. can pineapple chunks (or tidbits), drained
    ½ c. sugar
    3 T. flour
    1 c. cheese, grated
    ½ stick butter, melted
    Crushed ritz crackers

    Mix sugar & flour.
    Separately, mix pineapple & cheese.
    Toss both mixtures together and spread in a baking dish.
    Sprinkle crushed crackers on top.
    Pour melted butter

  17. cdziuba@aol.com Here's a recipe for budget-friendly Sweet Potato Soup

    1 Tbs. flour
    1 Tbs. unsalted butter
    1 1/2 C. chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if desired)
    1 Tbs. light brown sugar
    1 1/2 C. cooked sweet potatoes
    1/4 tsp. ground ginger
    1/8 tsp.ground cinnamon
    1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
    1 C. milk

  18. My best holiday tip: price matching! Between Walmart's guaranteed $20 holiday dinner and the loss leaders at other stores I can pick up everything for our holiday dinner (including my faves) for super cheap.

  19. I cook from scratch, I don't use box mixes they cost more. I also am sure to use all parts of the turkey, I make stock out of the carcass and use it to make gravy and the remainder I use to make soup for the following day.

  20. Shop on sale and with coupons. Also pay attention to promo listed on flyers and in store. During holiday seasons, many stores offer buy $ get $ or holiday meals like turkey or so, and the minimum requirement usually is before coupon. You can get great meal deals by paying attention to these details.

  21. The price of sweet potatoes around the season is quite good, simply baked by sliced or the whole makes a very sweet, healthy side dishes.

  22. Baked Macaroni and Cheese:
    2 slices bacon 8 ounces penne pasta 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups milk
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and

  23. Coupons and sales! Our giant turkey only cost $4 and we'll have leftovers for several days even after the boys take plates of food back home.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    proudyaya04 {at} yahoo {dot} com

  24. I save money on holiday meals, without cutting back on quality by buying everything in advance (except for produce). I find sales on all the ingredients I will be using and stock up way before the holidays!

    mandjregan at gmail dot com

  25. We usually participate in a potluck-style Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's family. That way everybody contributes to the cost and preparation.
    weird chick online at gmail dot com

  26. I buy an extra large turkey and plan meals around the leftovers i.e., turkey tettrazini & other casseroles that I can freeze, soup that I can freeze. The 40 cents/pound turkey from Walmart would sure help!

  27. One frugal tip to stretch homemade gravy is to make your favorite family recipe from the turkey broth, then make one batch of gravy from a powdered mix, and then mix the homemade gravy with the from-powder gravy. Nobody will notice, and you'll have twice the gravy.

    Thanks for the chance to win the Walmart gift card.

  28. I typed out this whole thing and it ate it!

    My favorite frugal tip to stretch homemade gravy is to make one batch with your homemade turkey broth, then one batch from a powdered gravy, and mix the two. You'll have twice the gravy with half the work, and no one will notice the difference.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. I price match! I shop at Walmart so I can use the specials at every store there. I look at the weekly circulars and Walmart honors them. This is actually what I do year round and it saves me so much money!

  30. I always shop ahead on items that I know I will need ahead of time and when they go on sale. I also ask everyone to bring a side dish.

  31. Eat at someone else's house! Seriously though, I recommend using coupons combined with sales ahead of time so you can get the best deals. Also make as much as you can from scratch. More delicious and will save you money!
    katiekarr at gmail dot com

  32. A budget friendly Thanksgiving recipe –
    Bread and Celery Stuffing
    1 (1 pound) loaf sliced white bread 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1 onion, chopped 4 stalks celery, chopped 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning salt and pepper to taste 1 cup chicken broth
    Let bread slices air dry for 1 to 2 hours, then cut into cubes.
    In a Dutch oven, melt butter or

  33. One great way is to substitute the store brand for the brand name (if you can't find coupons and sales, that is). Quality isn't a factor in things like salt and baking soda, so why pay more?

  34. Budget friendly recipie: Watergate Salad:
    2 packages of Walmart brand pistachio pudding mix, 1 large can of Dole Crushed pineapple, 1 large container of cool whip, bag of mini marshmallows. Drain pineapple leaving only a little juice. Mix 3/4 of the tub of cool whip with the pineapple, pudding mix, and marshmallows.

    Yummy! bekki1820cb@gmail.com

  35. carrieplant AT gmail

    To fancy up the dinner rolls that come in the $20 walmart deal, spray with PAM or brush with a little butter, sprinkle on your favorite spice blend before baking.

  36. carrieplant AT gmail

    My budget friendly recipe:

    Pumpkin Custard
    aka pumpkin pie w/o the crust
    To feed a crowd:

    2 cans pumpkin pie mix
    1 can evaporated milk
    4 eggs

    mix, pour in casserole dish, bake at 350 till set

  37. Recipe:

    Mashed Yams

    Cut yams into chunks
    boil till soft
    mix with seasonings to taste (butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon)

    abeauparlant AT gmail

  38. Plan ahead and watch for the sales on each item you need and get coupons for those items. If alot of family is coming, have each one bring something and pose it like "their best dish" so you don't offend.

  39. My favorite money-saving tip is to enter great giveaways like this! I also do clip coupons and watch store circulars to coordinate my shopping strategies. It takes a little time but really makes a big difference to our grocery budget.

    hybroanglid at aol dot com

  40. We all pitch in for big meals and everyone brings a different dish. It's cheaper to buy in bulk and focus on one or two items than to have one person get everything!

  41. I saved money on my Thanksgiving meal by combining sales with coupons. I also had everyone who came pitch in by bringing part of the meal. That made it cheaper for everyone!

    Thanks for the great giveaway.

    shawna at couponladyonline dot com

  42. I stock up on essentials and treats when they are on sale, so that I don't pay more later. When I need them, I go to our food storage shelves and "shop" there, knowing I got a good deal.

    wordygirl at earthlink d0t net

  43. I try to buy ahead of time. I keep in mind what I'll be needing and buy as it goes on sale.


  44. My super easy stuffing is delish and cheap! a box of Stove Top, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and some cooked wild rice. Mix together and either bake until warm or stuff in turkey. Yummy!

  45. One huge way I cut down on Holiday meal costs without giving up quality is y making one pot meals like casseroles and One Skillet Meals. They go so far and you can make a lot of them for very little!


  46. I have started to make most of my mother's from scratch recipes to save money on convenience foods and pre-made/pre-baked items we have usually bought. It adds a little time but the smells in the house and the savings to spend on other essentials makes it worth it. I have also found that my regular recipes just taste better with the homemade ingredients. Leave it to my Mom to teach me another

  47. My friends and I have a side dish swap. I make a triple batch of one of my favorite side dishes (roasted red potatoes or hashbrown casserole). I keep one for myself. My friends do the same. Then we get together for play date and give each other the extra side dishes. I did have to make extra, but it was all the same thing and very easy. Now I have 3 side dishes, without the extra dishes and

  48. I save money by assigning a dish to each of my sisters to bring. I cook the ham and turkey (both that I get for cheap at Walmart) and they bring the rest! deanenpr at yahoo.com

  49. I make a lot of other side dishes so that there is lots of food to eat but you aren't spending so much on main or more expensive parts of the meal

  50. I always try to combine coupons with sales and I also do the ad matches. I can always get great deals on the items that I use anyway to make a wonderful holiday meal!


  51. I stock up early on items that can be purchased while they are on sale and stored until ready to use. Items such as canned green beans or peas and cranberry sauce. Also when dinner rolls are on sale I stock up and have them in the freezer. I shop in advance so I don't have to purchase everything I need all at once.

  52. The best way to save money on meals without losing quality is to keep an eye out for great sales and using coupons! Buy what you can ahead of time when it's a great price.
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

  53. One of my favorite ways to save money on any meal is to plan ahead and use what I have.

    Planning is truly priceless and making the most of what you already have in your pantry can help save so much and teach you discipline!

  54. To keep Thanksgiving inexpensive, we all share in the meal. Since I am from big family it is alot to put on one person for an entire meal, plus with everyone bringing something…there will always be something you like…hehe


  55. I use plenty of coupons especially around the holidays. I make casserole dishes for holiday meals which tend to stretch ingredients and money! Thanks 🙂

    bitabuns at yahoo dot com

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