Shopping for a turkey this holiday season? Maybe it's your first time? Find out how much you should expect to pay for a turkey whether you choose frozen, fresh, or organic.
When it comes to shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, the first decision usually has to do with the turkey.
Choosing which one to buy is often the first purchase that people make for the Thanksgiving meal. The cost you pay for one may set up what the rest of the meal is going to look like. If you spend a lot on a turkey, you may not splurge for other parts of the meal. Or if the opposite, you go the cheap route, you got plenty of leftover dough to use on other components of the dinner.
Whatever way you want to go, we want to help you know what to expect to pay at the grocery store. Below you will find our guide.
I hope this is especially helpful for any first time turkey buyers.
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💲 Expected Prices
Here are the prices you should expect to pay for a turkey. The list is by the type of turkey and with the lowest price you could pay and the highest price. We have covered turkeys from many different stores over the years on the blog (Whole Foods, Costco, Sam's Club, Trader Joe's, etc), so we have a good handle on what to expect no matter where you are shopping.
If you do find anything outside these ranges, leave us a comment at the end.
|Type||Low End||High End|
|Whole Organic Fresh||$2.99/lb||$3.99/lb|
|Bone-In Frozen Turkey Breast||$.99/lb||$1.99/lb|
|Bone-In Fresh Turkey Breast||$4.99/lb||$7.49/lb|
|Boneless Frozen Turkey Breast||$3.33/lb||$7.99/lb|
|Smoked Whole Turkey||$1.99/lb||$4.99/lb|
A frozen turkey is always the cheapest option. They are cheaper than fresh but it's easier to transport and store a frozen turkey than to keep a fresh one that could go bad.
Many stores chains like Meijer and Kroger will offer their frozen turkey sat dirt cheap prices in hopes of getting you in the store to buy other items with higher profit margins.
If you shop around you should never have to pay more than $1 a pound at Thanksgiving time for a frozen turkey. Sales usually begin 2-3 weeks before the holiday, so there is no need to wait for the last minute if you have freezer space.
💸 On a Tight Budget?
If you are low on money this Thanksgiving, don't worry about going for the cheapest turkey. I have bought the cheap frozen turkeys before and the still came out tasty. It you cook it right you can't go wrong - we always do Alton Brown's Butterflied, Dry Brined Turkey
Also make sure to check out our ALDI Thanksgiving Dinner Under $40 post. You'll have leftovers too!
From personal experience I have not found the more expensive frozen turkeys to be noticeable better than the cheapest ones.
RELATED - How Far in Advance to Buy a Fresh Turkey
Prices on fresh turkeys typically start at $1 per pound, if you get a good deal. Costco usually has them for this price. The prices goes up for more premium brands or if you are looking at a free range turkey or...
Organic turkeys are hard to find for under $2.99 a pound. But are usually not more than $3.99 a pound. When you think about it the per pound price is still cheaper than buying boneless skinless chicken breasts at most stores and definitely cheaper than most beef and I am not even talking about any of those meats being organic.
It's also worth noting that most of the organic turkeys you are going to find are going to be fresh not frozen.
RELATED - To learn more about organic turkeys check out our post on the subject.
Are you looking to buy a certain brand of turkey? Here is what you can expect to pay.
|Brand||Low End||High End|
|Honeysuckle White Fresh Whole Turkey||$.99/lb||$1.99/lb|
|Honeysuckle White Frozen Whole Turkey||$.69/lb||$1.49/lb|
|Butterball Whole Frozen Turkey||$.66/lb||$1.59/lb|
|Butterball Whole Fresh Turkey||$.99/lb||$1.59/lb|
|Plainville Farms Whole Fresh Turkey||$1.79/lb||$2.49/lb|
|Plainville Farms Organic Turkey||$2.99/lb||$3.49/lb|
|Jennie-O Frozen Whole Turkey||$.69/lb||$.99/lb|
|Jennie-O Fresh Whole Turkey||$.99/lb||$1.49/lb|
📖 Price Guides
We have several guides that will help you shop for your Thanksgiving turkey and beyond. here are a few to check out.
For all of our Thanksgiving content, head over to our Everything Thanksgiving page.
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