My local store has turkeys for $0.47 a pound, which is indeed a great price. I did already pick up one and I'm fighting the temptation to get a second, but I know I have at least 1 or 2 in my chest freezer.
Honestly, I have never found Thanksgiving a particularly expensive holiday. We'll have turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, waldorf salad, brown and serve rolls, and pumpkin pie. (Or some fairly similar menu). The ingredients for practically every dish are on sale this week at my grocery store. All that together costs less than $25-30, I'm sure, to feed 4-8 people. More expensive than a normal meal mostly because there are more meal components (and people), but definitely not budget breaking for us.
Turkey isn't cheap here. One of the grocery chains does this thing where you get a "free" turkey with the purchase of a ham. But the ham is $3.99 a pound. I don't know what they weigh, 3-4lbs maybe? So $12-15 for both.
Otherwise whole birds are $1.79/lb and breasts are $1.69. The other major chain has the same prices, unless you spend $25 then you can get a single whole bird at .88/lb. There's no incentive to compete, so smaller stores are charging the same. The last time I got a fresh breast from the local butcher shop it was ~$12.
Those are good deals on meat, sure, but nothing like the .39 and .49 prices you guys are reporting.
I do agree with you that the vegetables and sides don't cost much, especially with seasonal sales. Stick to the basics, potatoes, rolls, apple pie, seasonal greens, and it is very inexpensive to feed a crowd.
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