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Where you can find the least expensive turkey dinner at grocery stores in the Coastal Bend

Posted at 9:08 PM, Nov 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 11:23:13-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Experts say we’re looking at one of the most expensive turkey dinners in decades.

With a little more than a week to go before thanksgiving, prices across the board are on the rise. Supply shortages throughout the country are expected to continue into the new year. Inflation is now at a record high.

With prices on the rise for most everything, we decided to do some shopping for you to see which stores had the best prices. We went to H-E-B, Walmart, and IGA on the Island.

Before you grab your cart and head to the store, be prepared for some sticker shock.

When we asked Nancy Torres of Corpus Christi if she was ready for Thanksgiving, she quickly told us, “Yes, I’m ready.”

Torres may be ready with her shopping list but she has some uncertainty feelings this Thanksgiving.

"I feel a little nervous about the prices,” Torres told us as she fears the worst when it comes to buying what she needs for turkey dinner.

When she went shopping and then asked her if she was surprised to see the prices, Torres answered, "yes, a little bit.”

Record high prices across the nation along with the supply chain crush has led to these soaring prices nationwide but we wanted to know, is this having a big effect on us here in the Coastal Bend right now.

We asked Torres if she found what she wanted to on store shelves and she told us, I found everything that I was looking for.”

Nancy may have found everything but she's not buying it all since this year’s dinner will be a bit different.

Torres told us she usually celebrates Thanksgiving at home with family but not this year. The reason, she tells us, “because it's hard sometimes with prices they've gone up so we do a lot of potlucking with friends.”

So what happens when you decide to go shopping and where can you get the biggest bang for your buck? We did the homework for you.

We made a list of cream of mushroom soup, green beans, sweet corn, cut spinach, and cranberry sauce. All of those items were similar in price.

When it comes to sweet potatoes, we found H-E-B and Walmart had similar prices though at IGA, we found sweet potatoes to be about .40 more per pound.

When it comes to Stove Top stuffing, we found a box at H-E-B for $1.27, $1.98 at Walmart, and $1.99 at IGA.

One of the biggest differences we found in price when compared to last year is the Butterball Turkey and if you plan on feeding about 12 people, expect to buy a 15 pound bird.

A fully cooked Butterball turkey runs $2.56/lb at H-E-B, $3.06/lb at Walmart, and $2.99/lb at IGA.

Economists expecting prices for the tasty birds to be up around 10-15%.

When we finally checked out at the register, our total bill at H-E-B came in at $49, $58 at Walmart, and $60 at IGA.

It’s expected to get worse, analysts say, since prices aren’t locked in.

So the sooner you buy, the better as inflation has skyrocketed over the last year, rising more than 6%. That's the biggest increase in more than three decades.

The average price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs has gone up 11.9% from a year ago.

That’s exactly why Torres is going to a Friendsgiving. This way she’ll take less of a hit in the wallet but will definitely bring her appetite to the table.

When asked if she’s already hungry, “yes, very hungry, just talking about this.”

So experts say the longer you wait to buy, The more flexible you'll have to be. And when it comes to turkeys, they say you’re going to be able to find the bigger birders but if you’re looking for smaller turkeys this year, they’ll be harder to come by.

Other tips on how to save money:

Consider buying a 15 lb. turkey. While there isn't a significant turkey shortage this year, you might end up paying more than you typically would.

If you're considering a different meat this year like pork, beef or chicken to replace the turkey, it could be slightly cheaper and easier to find, but it could still end up costing you.

If you're willing to break traditions, you could skip the turkey and go with an assortment of tasty sides or go for a vegetarian substitute like a Tofurky.

Host a potluck. For Thanksgiving hosts, purchasing all of the ingredients and cooking all of the dishes could be costly and time-consuming.

Set a budget for dinner. By setting boundaries on the amount you're willing to spend, you'll be less susceptible to impulse purchases. You can consider substituting certain ingredients or omitting them entirely if they fall outside your budget.

Shop in advance. Make a plan for what you're going to buy ahead of time and consider picking up some of the ingredients that won't perish quickly far ahead of Thanksgiving day.

Use a rebate app to save money on ingredients. Ibotta, the rebate app, is offering consumers money back on some of their Thanksgiving-related food purchases at Walmart. With rebate services, consumers buy the products before submitting receipts for the items and then are reimbursed for the cost of them. This offer is available through November 24 or as long as supplies last.

Use a grocery rewards card.

If you're looking for a no-effort, simple way to save money on groceries, consider getting a credit card with rewards on grocery spending. Since grocery spending is often one of most people's largest expenses, there are a number of cards on the market that offer higher rewards on these transactions.