It’s go time. Thanksgiving dinner shopping has to happen now if you want your turkey to defrost on time and not feel like you’re making all those pies at the last minute. Doing that shopping without breaking the bank can feel like a daunting task, especially with food prices as high as ever. But don’t worry, The Banner is here to help.
We worked out how Baltimore-area grocery chains stack up against each other for costs of 11 common Thanksgiving food items. The answer was simple: If you want to splurge, go to Whole Foods. If you want to save money, head to Aldi.
But what if you want to save even more money? And what if you don’t want to bag your own groceries? We’ve explored all your options so you can save as much money as possible this week.
How many stops are you willing to make?
There are savings to be had if you’re willing to make stops at multiple grocery stores. The Banner’s analysis showed a family of four could expect to spend about $27 on Thanksgiving fare at Aldi, the cheapest single store we went to. But making an extra stop and shopping at both Aldi and Lidl could bring your total price down to less than $23.
You can save even more by shopping at additional stores, but with diminishing returns. Adding Save A Lot to your trip and going to three different stores brings the total down to just over $21 for a family of four, thanks in large part to their cheap turkey prices. But adding more stops makes less sense.
Four stops saves you less than a dollar over three stops, and the cheapest overall option, which involves going to five different grocery stores, is just four cents cheaper than going to four stores.
So if you’re looking to save both time and money, two or three stops is the way to go.
What if I don’t want to bag my own groceries?
Aldi has a lot to offer, including the cheapest overall prices on a number of popular Thanksgiving items. But it also has a shopping experience that’s not for everyone. If you want to skip the trouble of bagging your own groceries, we figured out the cheapest route without going to Aldi, too.
You can expect to spend a little more, but there are still plenty of savings to be found by optimizing your grocery buying, even without Aldi. Lidl is the cheapest single store outside of Aldi, with a total price of $28.26 for food for a family of four. Adding Save A Lot to the trip brings that price down to less than $24.
Simply put, if you’re willing to do a little extra legwork, there is money to be saved on Thanksgiving dinner.