Keep Your Guests and Your Wallet Full on Thanksgiving -- Savings Experiment

Savings Experiment: Vitamins
Savings Experiment: Vitamins

The highlight of Thanksgiving is a big turkey and bountiful sides, but the holiday meal can also cost you a bundle. Here's how to save without skimping on dinner.

Our experts compared the cost of common dishes at popular retailers. The price of stuffing, sweet potatoes, fresh cranberries, pumpkin pie and green beans were considered, and at first glance Costco seemed to be the cheapest. However, the store only came out on top when prices were broken down per ounce. At Costco, you're buying in bulk, so your overall cost will be higher.

Unless you have a big family, it doesn't make sense to buy such large quantities. The best deal for intimate Thanksgiving meals is at big box retailers, where prices are much lower than the average grocery store. For example, the average supermarket charges $21.57 for a 16-pound turkey. Meanwhile, the same size bird costs $12.64 at Target. Walmart offers an even greater discount, charging just $11.84 for a 16-pounder. That's almost 50 percent off the supermarket price.

So, when it comes to keeping your Thanksgiving meal on budget, shop wisely. Compare prices at big box retailers and be sure to gobble up sales before the big day.