ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Frugal Living: How to Score a Turkey Meal for American Thanksgiving

Updated on November 9, 2019


The fabled bird, oven roasted.
The fabled bird, oven roasted. | Source


Thanksgiving -----

In the United States, it has been a harvest festival and national holiday for over a century. Most Americans have consciously or subconsciously created an emotionally-charged list of foods needed to make Thanksgiving Day complete. In other words, these individuals state to themselves, “It isn’t Thanksgiving without _A_, _B_, and _C_. Often, turkey tops the list.


This article suggests strategies for getting the turkey part of the holiday.

Some of the below options will provide for other food accompaniments, in addition to the turkey, that are regarded as traditional AmericanThanksgiving Day foods.

If you absolutely, positively want to be eating tryptophan-loaded turkey on Thanksgiving, and suffer from money challenges, here are some ideas.

(All these suggestions assume one is NOT on Public Assistance. Those individuals have extra options.)

Totally Free Meal:


Synagogues, community centers, mosques, and churches are stepping up to the plate and sharing from their abundance. Thanks guys!

Look for signs saying “free Thanksgiving meal” and note the times and dates.

The potential hidden cost = the expense of getting yourself there and listening to a short sales pitch of some kind about their faith, or about joining their organization. Only you can decide whether it is worth it.


Homeless shelters and some of the above organizations need helpers to cook and to serve the big turkey dinner to the guest diners. Maybe one near you has such a need and maybe it feeds the helpers sometime during the course of the day.

Cost = the expense of getting yourself there and light labor from you.

Very Low Cost Meal:


Finagle an invitation to someone else’s feast - someone with more food-buying money that is.

Offer to bring a lower cost side dish. How about rolls?

Cost = your pride and about $5 or less for the side dish? Also, it would be very decent to volunteer to help wash dishes.


Organize likewise situated friends into a communal feast. Divide tasks and food assignments.

This differs slightly from suggestion number one. In number one, you are jumping on to a wealthier family's established meal.

In this plan, you are all equally destitute and trying to make Stone Soup together.

Cost = maybe your pride, and a bit of time organizing and coordinating everyone and everything.


Buy one frozen turkey microwave dinner meal.

Use lots of imagination, such as pretending you have a Norman Rockwell scenario and lit candles.

Cost = under $6 per person.

Medium Cost Meal:

Grocery stores compete for business.

Many offer very low cost-per-pound birds and great price reductions on all the trimmings. Shop around!

Maybe buying a turkey breast instead of an entire turkey will meet your needs and cut your expenditures a little.

Cost = time to do the research or comparative shopping, and the actual grocery bill.

Turkey Needed

If eating turkey on Thanksgiving really meets your feeling of what is right and normal, consider these tactics.

If you have more ideas, please share them in the comments section.

In the meantime, think about next year and start your own Turkey Club Savings Plan. If you have enough self-control and willpower, do the old weekly contribution to an envelope in the drawer. Then, next year: No worries and Bon Appetit!

© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)