Friday, May 27, 2011

Want Thanksgiving dinner for FREE???? Shop in MAY!!!

Did you know, if you start shopping now, you could avoid all the hassles and crowds in the grocery store leading up to Thanksgiving and have almost everything on the table for free or next to nothing?

Don't think so? Read on. It's easy - no catches, except a little planning and discipline.
SHOPPING ALERT: Reynolds Aluminum foil $1.99 at Walgreens starting Sunday. There was a $1 off coupon at Piggly Wiggly.
There have been a number of 75 cent coupons in the newspaper recently also. This is for a 75-foot roll of foil. Grab two, that will be more than enough for cooking, and wrapping leftovers.

On a comment from my mom, I've decide to spend less time bragging on my shopping trips, and more time giving some advice. Of course I will continue to ramble along on shopping. She mentioned an article on expiration dates and how some products are good for a few days, even weeks beyond their date stamp. Now, me, I'm not big on using items beyond their prime. I like fresh, local ingredients whenever possible - preferably from my dad's garden.

Her comment came as I was about to purchase pie crusts because they were on sale and I had a matching coupon. I scanned the shells and sure enough they are dated for mid December, and the pie filling that I had the matching coupon for, -- dated for 2012.

The light bulb went off and here we are -- the first blog on buying Thanksgiving for next to nothing. The pie shells were on a rare sell for under $1.50 each. The coupon, was for $1 off filling. Now those shells will be stored for the big day. I also got a ton of free plastic cups, season salt, and paper plates thanks to coupons and coupon stacking.

OK, for the record, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Maybe that's why I'm so out of shape? I love to cook, and cook for the masses, and this is my best chance. I use to cook for my coworkers and when I became a manager, I cooked for my employees. Nothing relaxes me more than being in the kitchen cooking, and nothing brings me more enjoyment than serving a great meal. Now I realize I can do it for almost free!

So here is where to start. Ohhhh it seems wrong to plan for Thanksgiving in May, but to be honest I've even started working on Christmas (save that for another post). Begin by thinking what you would like to serve for turkey day. All the dishes you may want, the special requests you get every year. Now put together a grocery list, just like you would if you were shopping tomorrow.

Now we can attack the list with sales. As of right now, I'm not that far ahead of the rest of you.
I have:
plates - free  -- Currently until 5/30 - 40 count $1 Piggly Wiggly or 15-count section plates $1
cups - free -- Currently Until 6/2 - 15 count $1 Lowe's Food
2 pie shells - $3 (shells expire Dec)
1 can cherry pie filling for pie - $1
a bottle of karo syrup for pecan pie - free
1 can cherry pie filling for my infamous ham - $1 (filling expires 2013!)
1 aluminum foil $1.75 -- see note up top!
2 glad storage bags - $2
lots of Kool-Aid if you so desire - Free -- If you have Facebook, look up Kool-Aid I have heard there is a .50 off 5 coupon that at Lowe's Foods makes 5 packs free. If that is not available, Piggly Wiggly has them for .09 a pack. (kool-aid expires 2012)
1 box Lipton Tea - .89 -- Coupon in this past Sunday .50 off 1 - Lowes Foods has for 1.89 until 6/2. Coupon doubles to make it $1 off - you pay .89 (tea expires 2012)

Some items to keep an eye for (given that you have space to store it):
Frozen veggies (like broccoli for casseroles)
Frozen pie shells (most have an exp. date of Dec. 31)
Frozen rolls/biscuits/breads etc. have exp dates getting close to Nov., so the next time they go on a big sale, will be the time to match those coupons up for that purchase.
plastic utensils, plates, cups, napkins, etc.
I will put up a full list next week, and will post upcoming or current sales where you can grab what you need in advance.

In addition to posting my how to shop for Thanksgiving, I will also post some recipes in coming posts.


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