Thanksgiving can take a bite out of anyone’s wallet but it is possible to make last minute turkey trimmings for under $5.
The US Sun team shares favorite quick and simple recipes—enough to feed a family of eight.
Inflation has dominated every aspect of expenditure.
Food is no exception.
Here’s a look at grocery prices from a year ago for shopping staples as shoppers head into the holiday season:
- eggs = 43 percent
- Butter = 33.6 percent
- Bread = 14.8 percent
- Milk = 14.5 percent
If you’re looking for ways to save, it’s all about using basic essentials you probably already have at home, combined with special items that will all feel Thanksgiving.
Here’s what’s on the menu:
1. Brussels Sprouts – $4.49
- Brussel sprouts
- cooking oil (or equivalent)
This traditional dish will add color to your Thanksgiving feast.
The cost of Brussels sprouts varies depending on where you buy them.
For this side dish, a bag of sprouts and a clove of garlic were purchased for 50 cents at Gristed’s, a New York City supermarket.
I fried them in oil and flavored them with black pepper, both of which I had on hand.
If you want, you can also add Parmesan cheese or chili flakes.
You can definitely make this dish for less, as you can find Brussels sprouts for as cheap as $2.99 at Target or $2.98 at Walmart.
The price at Aldi varies depending on the store, and the price at Trader Joe’s is $3.99.
At all shops, a clove of garlic costs around 50c or less.
2. Sweet Potato Casserole – $4.32
- two large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- a teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- two tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- salt and pepper
This sweet and savory treat cost less than $5 and was easy to make.
I visited my local Bravo supermarket where I picked up the main ingredients: sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows.
Bravo had some great deals and I was able to get potatoes for only 49 cents a pound.
This made it cheaper than rivals Aldi ($0.55 per pound), Walmart ($0.59 per pound), Target ($0.99 per pound) and Trader Joe’s ($1.66 per pound).
A 10-ounce pack of Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows was a bit more expensive at $2.09, meaning they were more expensive than Aldi ($0.89), Walmart ($1.48), Target ($1.89), but still at Trader Joe’s ($1.89). Come cheap from $2.99.
Overall, Bravo came in a respectable third place in price, behind Aldi and Walmart, but cheaper than Target and TJ’s.
The rest of the dish uses basic pantry staples that can be found in most homes.
In under an hour, you can have a delicious, filling side dish that will easily feed a family of eight or more, even if they insist on seconds.
Serves six to eight people.
3. Cornbread – $3.62
- 2 packages Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
- four ounces sour cream
- two eggs
- 1/3 cup water
For this super quick and easy side dish, I went to Walmart, where I found Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix for only $0.52 each package.
There were other types of cornbread mix available, but Jiffy was the cheapest and the kind my grandmother used, so why spoil a good thing?
I also bought a small tub (eight ounces) of sour cream, and I went with the Walmart brand, which was $1.16.
Finally, I bought a small crate of six eggs, which was my most expensive item at $1.35.
We used sour cream instead of milk because it makes the cornbread creamier and less watery than the recipe on the box.
I had enough money left over to buy a stick of butter that I used at the end of the recipe, but I already had some in my refrigerator.
I already had two 8×8 cake pans and oil to spray them with.
Here’s my price comparison, compared to Aldi, Target, and Trader Joe’s.
At Aldi, the cornbread mix available was $3.65, their sour cream was $1.89, and their eggs only came in a 12 pack, making them $3.39 for a dozen.
Making cornbread from Aldi would cost $8.39 without tax, which is almost triple what I paid at Walmart.
At Target, each box of corn muffin mix would cost $0.55, their sour cream was $1.59, and their eggs were $2.39 for a dozen (they didn’t even have a six pack of eggs).
It would have been $4.53 to make cornbread from Target, which is mostly due to the extra eggs you’d have to buy for the ones you need.
Still, the target was well short of its $5 price point.
Lastly, at Trader Joe’s, they don’t even have regular cornbread mix.
Their Cornbread Stuffing is $5.99, which is already over our $5 limit.
So, there you have it: Walmart has the cheapest cornbread to make, and it’s under $5.
4. Crescent Rolls – $2.99
- One package of Trader Joe’s Organic Crescent Rolls
It never hurts to keep things simple.
For only $2.99, you can experience the warmth of a freshly baked roll in under 15 minutes.
Instead of buying a $3.49 Pillsbury roll from Target, you can pop off these Trader Joe’s options right before you sit down to dinner.
Breaking down the cylinder package can be the hardest part if you’re like me and didn’t read the instructions first.
But the rest of the dish has been prepared for you.
Each piece of dough is already cut into perfect triangles, so all you need to do is roll them out.
After rolling out the cut dough, put them on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 14 minutes.
The sweet smell of baked goods will instantly fill your kitchen, making it seem like you made those bad boys from scratch.
Once the rolls are slightly brown on top and slightly crispy on the bottom, take them out of the oven.
This sweet and buttery side dish will complement typical savory Thanksgiving dishes beautifully.
And for $2.99, they’re a no-brainer.
Walmart’s Great Value Crescent Rolls are a good option because they’re only $1.07 for eight, but there’s no guarantee that your local store will have these.
5. Apple Pie – $3.44
Save room for dessert, because it’s possible to make an apple pie for under $5.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3 to 4 large apples
- Pie crust is ready
The secret is using basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Things like sugar and flour.
You may already have timeless spices like cinnamon and nutmeg from past holidays.
For this under $5 dessert, it was all about the shopping.
We were able to find apples for 99 cents a pound. You’d be surprised how far three to four large apples can yield for one pie.
To save time and, most importantly, money, we used a ready-made pie crust.
After shopping around, we opted for a pie crust from Aldi for only $1.99.
It didn’t lack in flavor or thickness, as it baked just as if you’d made your own crust from scratch.
For perspective, Pillsbury Ready-to-Bake Crust costs $4.59, Trader Joe’s is $4.49 and Walmart’s Great Value is $2.18.
The full-size pie is enough to feed eight people, possibly 10 if you decide on smaller slices.
Keep in mind, not everyone wants to eat turkey.
For the meatless eaters, we’ve compiled a few options to make sure there’s something for everyone.
- Corn Meatless Roast: $9.49
- Garden Turkey Cutlets: $5.99
- Tofurky Deli Slice: $4.99
Quorn Meatless Roast is close to “the real deal”.
Meanwhile, the Gardein Turk’y cutlet registered a higher fat content of 13 grams.
Lastly, Tofurky Deli Slice would most likely be an option if you’re on the go and not for a sit-down meal.
After you’re done with Thanksgiving dinner, you might be ready to go shopping. Here’s a list of what’s open and what’s not open on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Plus, US Sun enlists you to shop for the best stocking stuffers under $10, from Walmart to Amazon.