How to save on your Thanksgiving dinner

We searched for the lowest possible price for common Thanksgiving items at four popular stores.

ATLANTA — It’s no surprise that Thanksgiving dinner is a bit more expensive this year. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost of dinner will be 20 percent more than in 2021.

The survey included 10-12 menu items totaling $64.05 as the average price.

11Alive reviewed four popular stores (Target, Walmart, Publix, and Kroger) that carry a wide range of ingredients and have locations anyone can walk to. Since everyone’s menu is different and everyone has their own special ways of making certain dishes, we stick to the stereotypical items or basic ingredients to make dishes. We search for the lowest possible price for items and list items, with prices readily available online. Items that returned a “prices vary” result based on store location are not listed.

(All prices are based on what is advertised on each store’s site, availability, and may change after this writing.)

Walmart was the cheapest in five of the 10 categories, and Kroger won in four of the 10 categories. Target and Publix tied for the most expensive items. However, Kroger wins as the cheapest store if you buy all of the items listed below.

If you were to buy one of each of the cheaper items (regardless of store) listed below and a dessert, the cost would be $28.38 before tax.

If you were to buy all the items (one per category) in the same store, the costs would be:

Walmart: $38.14 (if you buy the cheapest dessert)

Kroger: $32.92 (if you buy the cheapest dessert)

Goal: $44.39 (if you buy the cheapest dessert)

Publix: $42.24 (if you buy the cheapest dessert)

Turkey: Winner, Publix (price depends on sales and coupons)

Target: $23.80, Butterball turkey, $0.99 per pound, 16-20 pound turkey

Kroger: $15.18, store brand turkey, $.69 per pound, 20-24 turkeys (This item is currently on sale. A coupon is available on the website that would make this item cheaper with the purchase of other items.)

Walmart: $20.94, Honeysuckle White turkey, $.98 per pound, 16- to 26-pound turkey

Publix: $12.74, store brand turkey, $0.49 per pound, 24- to 28-pound turkey. (This item is currently on sale through 11/23.)

Sweet Potatoes: Winner, Kroger/Publix for individual potatoes, Walmart for a 3-pound bag

Target: $0.99 per pound, single potato/$2.99, store brand, 3-pound bag

Kroger: $.49 per pound, single potato/$3.99, store brand, 3-lb. bag

Walmart: $.63 per pound, single potato/$2.98, Simply Perfect brand, 3 lb. bag

Publix: $0.49 per pound, individual fries (3-pound bag prices were not available)

Green Beans (Canned): Winner, Walmart

Target: $.65 per can, Good & Gather brand, 14.5 oz

Kroger: $.89 per can, store brand, 14.5 oz

Walmart: $.50 per can, Great Value brand, 14.5 oz.

Publix: 10 cans for $10, multiple brands, 14.5 oz

Cranberry sauce (premade or canned): Winner, Walmart

Target: $1.49, Market Pantry brand, 14 oz.

Kroger: $1.50, store brand, 14 oz

Walmart: $1.36, Great Value brand, 14 oz.

Publix: 2 for $2, Ocean Spray, 14 oz.

Russet Potatoes: Winner, Target, and Kroger

Target: $2.99, Good & Gather brand, 5-pound bag

Kroger: $2.99, store brand, 5-pound bag

Walmart: $3.97, Idaho Potatoes brand, 5-pound bag

Publix: $3.99, store brand, 5-pound bag

Dinner/Crescent Rolls: Winner, Kroger by Item

Target: $3.49, Pillsbury brand, 8 crescent rolls

Kroger: $1.49, store brand, 8 crescent rolls

Walmart: $1.78, Great Value brand, 8 crescent rolls

Publix: $3.29, buy 1 get 1 free, Pillsbury brand, 8 crescent rolls

Milk (whole): Winner, Walmart

Target: $3.99, Good & Gather brand, gallon

Kroger: $2.89, store brand, gallon

Walmart: $2.33, Great Value brand, gallon

Publix: $4.74, store brand, gallon

Pumpkin Pie (Premade): Winner, Kroger

Target: $4.99, Rocky Mountain brand, 8-inch cake

Kroger: $3.99, Bakery Fresh brand, 8-inch cake

Walmart: $4.28, Freshness Guaranteed brand, 8-inch cake

Publix: $4.99, cake baked in-store 24 hours in advance, serves 4-6

Pecan Pie (Premade): Winner, Walmart

Target: $8.99, Rocky Mountain brand, 8-inch cake

Kroger: $5.99, Marie Callender’s, 32 oz pie (This item is frozen.)

Walmart: $4.98, Freshness Guaranteed brand, serves 5

Publix: $8.99, cake baked in store 24 hours in advance, serves 4-6

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