Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means it's time to hit the grocery store and start stocking up on turkey and all of the fixings. However, if you're hosting a holiday feast on a budget, it pays to compare prices at several stores to ensure you get the best deals.
Fortunately, GOBankingRates has done the price comparison for you. We collected prices for 11 items commonly used for Thanksgiving dishes at three stores — Aldi, Kroger and Walmart. For each item, we used the stores' private-label brands.Then, using these items, we estimated the total cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 using serving guidelines from Good Housekeeping.
Click through to see which store has the best price on each item so you can meet your budget for a holiday feast.
- Aldi: $1.29/pound
- Kroger: 59 cents/pound
- Walmart: 78 cents/pound
Kroger's 59 cents per pound price for its loyalty card holders is by far the best deal. If you're not already a member of the grocery chain's loyalty program, you can easily sign up for free as you check out and get the discounted price. For a 12-pound turkey to feed a party of 12, you’d spend $2.28 less at Kroger than at Walmart and $8.40 less than at Aldi.
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- Aldi: 79 cents (on sale)/6-ounce box
- Kroger: 99 cents/6-ounce box
- Walmart: 75 cents/6-ounce box
Walmart has the best price on a box of stuffing — but only by 4 cents. However, you have to pick up the Aldi store brand stuffing on sale to get the 79-cent price; otherwise, it’s 89 cents. At 99 cents per box, Kroger has the highest price for its store-brand stuffing.
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- Aldi: 89 cents/12 ounces
- Kroger: 99 cents/12 ounces
- Walmart: 86 cents/10.5 ounces
On the surface, Walmart seems to have the lower price. But its 10.5-ounce can of gravy is 8.2 cents per ounce, versus Aldi’s 12-ounce jar that is 7.4 cents per ounce.
- Aldi: 66 cents/pound
- Kroger: 99 cents/pound
- Walmart: $1.18/pound
Aldi has the lowest price per pound for sweet potatoes by far. However, Aldi does not sell sweet potatoes individually. A 3-pound bag, which costs $1.99, was the only option at the store we checked.
- Aldi: $3.49/10 pounds
- Kroger: $2.50 (on sale)/10 pounds
- Walmart: $3.94/10 pounds
You can save money at Kroger by taking advantage of its sale price for a 10-pound bag of russet potatoes, which beats the other stores’ prices by $1 or more. Even the regular Kroger price of $3.19 is still lower. It’s worth noting that both Kroger and Walmart sell smaller bags and individual potatoes, but Aldi carries only a 10-pound bag.
Canned Cranberry Sauce
- Aldi: 89 cents/14 ounces
- Kroger: 97 cents (on sale)/14 ounces
- Walmart: 98 cents/14 ounces
If you want to go the easy route and get your cranberry sauce from a can, you’ll find the best price at Aldi. You can save about 10 cents per can buying cranberry sauce at Aldi rather than Walmart or Kroger, which has a regular price of 99 cents per can.
- Aldi: $1.29/12 ounces
- Kroger: $2.50/12 ounces
- Walmart: $1.98/12 ounces
Aldi also has the best price on fresh cranberries. Walmart’s price for a 12-ounce bag is about 70 cents higher. And Kroger’s bag of cranberries costs $1.21 more.
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Canned Green Beans
- Aldi: 49 cents/14.5 ounces
- Kroger: 69 cents/15.5 ounces
- Walmart: 50 cents (on sale)/14.5 ounces
There’s not much of a price difference for canned green beans at Aldi and Walmart. However, Walmart’s regular price is 68 cents — which is actually slightly higher per ounce than Kroger’s price for its larger can.
- Aldi: 99 cents/11 ounces
- Kroger: $1 (on sale)/11 ounces
- Walmart: $2.50/16 ounces
Aldi and Kroger are essentially tied on price for an 11-ounce package of rolls. However, Kroger’s regular price is $1.59. Although Walmart’s package is bigger, the price per ounce still is higher than at the other two stores.
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- Aldi: $2.89 (on sale)/four sticks
- Kroger: $2.99/four sticks
- Walmart: $3.24/four sticks
Aldi has the best sale price on a package of four sticks of butter. However, its regular price of $2.99 is the same as Kroger’s. Walmart’s butter costs 25 cents more.
- Aldi: $2.89
- Kroger: $3.99 (on sale)
- Walmart: $3.48
If you want to buy a pumpkin pie rather than make your own Thanksgiving dessert, you’ll find the best deal at Aldi. Even on sale, Kroger’s pumpkin pie still is the priciest. And those without a Kroger Plus card have to pay $4.99.
Best Place to Shop for Your Thanksgiving Meal
Thanks to its great turkey deal, Kroger has the lowest total cost for a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people. However, it just barely beats Aldi — the discount grocer has the lowest overall cost for all of the key Thanksgiving dish ingredients other than the turkey. It would cost $29.49 at Aldi to buy enough stuffing, gravy, cranberries, green beans, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, rolls, butter and pie to serve 12 people. To buy enough of those items at Kroger to feed 12 would cost $37.75. And Walmart has the highest prices for side dish ingredients — $39.82.
When you add in the cost of a 12-pound turkey, here's how Kroger comes out as the best place to shop for your Thanksgiving meal:
- Kroger: $44.83
- Aldi: $44.97
- Walmart: $49.18
To save the most money, though, you should buy your turkey at Kroger and the rest of your Thanksgiving dinner items at Aldi for a total of just $36.57.