Free Turkey: 8 Ways to Get One for Thanksgiving

free turkey

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, a turkey is usually the star of the show. It’s also commonly the most expensive part of the meal. While the average cost for a meal for 10 is just shy of $49, not everyone can afford to spend that much on a single dinner. But, by scoring a free turkey, the total amount you have to spend can decrease dramatically, making Thanksgiving dinner substantially more affordable. If you want to find a free turkey this year, here are a few places to check.

Grocery Stores Free Turkey Promotion

One of the easiest ways to get your hands on a free turkey is through grocery store promotions. Typically, these are made available to loyalty cardholders. Since signing up is free and the cards give you access to more deals, it’s just another good reason to participate.

Usually, to qualify for a free turkey through these promotions, you need to spend a certain amount on groceries. For example, it might require a $100 minimum purchase to be eligible for the free turkey deal.

While the spending requirement can sound high, it usually isn’t unmanageable. If you buy your other Thanksgiving items and regular weekly groceries in one visit, hitting that mark shouldn’t be too challenging. Just understand that certain categories might be excluded when it comes to reaching the needed minimum total. For example, alcohol and gift card purchases might not qualify.

Additionally, you commonly have to buy a specific brand of turkey. Sometimes, you are limited to the store-brand or particular name-brand. When this happens, make sure you are selecting a qualifying turkey if you want to get it for free.

Buy 1, Get 1 Free Turkey Deals

BOGO turkey promotions are another popular deal you’ll find around Thanksgiving. Sometimes, you need to buy a turkey to qualify for a second free one. In some cases, you’ll have to buy another kind of product (like a ham) to be eligible for the free turkey.

These deals can be great if you also generally host a Christmas dinner. You can freeze the ham or other turkey for another holiday meal, allowing you to have the main course handled for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If the sale is buy one turkey, get one turkey free, you could split the deal with a friend. After making the purchase, divide the cost in half. Then, you both essentially get a half-price turkey, which is still a solid discount.

Local Sweepstakes and Contests

In some cases, radio stations, television stations, or area retailers hold sweepstakes or contests where the prize is a free turkey. For example, radio call-in contests aren’t uncommon.

The trick with these free turkeys is you can’t count on winning. If the sweepstakes or contest isn’t happening until close to Thanksgiving, you need a backup plan in case you don’t win.

Unique Local Promotions

Once Thanksgiving is on the horizon, a variety of businesses might offer free turkeys to boost their marketing efforts and attract customers. For instance, a car dealership might give out a free turkey with every test drive.

Finding these deals isn’t necessarily difficult. You might hear about them through radio or television commercials. In some cases, they will be advertised in local newspapers or on business websites. If you don’t learn about one through an ad, you could try an internet search. Put in your city’s name and the phrase “free turkey” and see if anything pops up.

Catalina Coupons and Rewards Points

When you shop at a grocery store, you might receive a Catalina coupon. These are the ones that print out at the register when you make a purchase and could include discounts on specific items or a certain amount of cash off your next purchase. While you might not get a free turkey coupon, you might get enough savings to offset the cost of a turkey, making it effectively free.

Similarly, if you are part of a loyalty program and have rewards points available, you might be able to convert those into the equivalent of a free turkey. For example, Safeway rewards members can turn their points into a range of discounts, including a specific amount of dollars off of your next purchase. If you haven’t used your points recently, see what you have available; it might amount to a free turkey.

Your Area Food Bank For A Free Turkey

If you are a low-income household, you might be able to get a free turkey from your area food bank. Many local grocery stores give their excess food to local food banks, and other organizations and people provide donations as well. While this isn’t a guarantee, if you qualify to use the food bank, it’s worth checking out.

Local Non-Profits and Religious Organizations

Other resources that might provide free turkeys to low-income families are non-profits and religious organizations, such as churches. If they don’t have any available, it’s possible they can connect you with groups that can help instead, ensuring you are able to have an amazing Thanksgiving.

If you are a member of a church, synagogue, or something similar, that’s a great place to start. You could also reach out to your local United Way as they have connections in most communities.

Friends and Family

In most cases, your friends and family want you to be happy. If they know that you are in need, they might be willing to help you get a turkey, or may even cover the cost entirely.

You could also potentially split the cost of Thanksgiving by having dinner together. By making Thanksgiving a group affair, everyone gets to save. Consider seeing if anyone would like to participate in a potluck, then separate out the cooking duties. Otherwise, everyone could contribute to the cost even if one person does the shopping and cooking, making it more affordable.

Do you plan on tracking down a free turkey this Thanksgiving? Do you know of other ways families can get a free turkey for the holiday? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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