Thanksgiving on a $100 Budget: A Shopping List, with Tips

Thanksgiving on a $100 Budget: A Shopping List, with Tips

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Faith Durand
Nov 18, 2015
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)
(Image credit: Lindsay Ribe)

Can you throw a bountiful, generous feast for a big crowd on a budget? Absolutely! We shared our menu for Thanksgiving for 10 on a $100 budget, and our super budget sangria. To make this classic Thanksgiving feast a reality in your own kitchen, here's a full shopping list.

But first — a few words of wisdom from our readers on budget shopping for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays. There are some smart tips in here — did you know that some grocery stores give away free turkeys? Have you ever bought day-old bread for pennies at the bakery? Read on for these and more!

5 Smart Reader Tips for Thanksgiving Shopping

I drew these reader insights from this post by Jessica Fisher on watching the holiday budget. There were so many good tips in the comments! I recommend reading the whole thread, but here are a few of my favorite takeaways.

Look for Day-Old Bread at the Bakery

Buy Spices from the Bulk Section!

Go with Turkey Breast Instead

Plan Ahead (and Factor in Leftovers to Your Cost)

Shop Around for a Free (Yes, Free!) Turkey

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)

Thanksgiving Menu for $100: The Shopping List

If you're going with our $100 menu for 10, here's a shopping list of all you'll need.

What We Assume You Have

  • Flour - 1/2 cup for gravy
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Produce

  • Apples - 2 apples
  • Celery stalks - 8 large
  • Cranberries - 3 (12-ounce) bags
  • Garlic - 2 heads
  • Ginger root - 1 stalk
  • Onions, yellow - 2 pounds
  • Oranges - 3 oranges
  • Potatoes, Russet - 3 to 5 pounds
  • Sage - 1 (0.75-ounce) packet
  • Shallots - 2 shallots
  • Sweet potatoes - 3 pounds
  • Thyme - 1 (0.75-ounce) packet

Baking & Spices

  • Bay leaves - 3 leaves
  • Brown sugar - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 3 cups
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 teaspoon
  • Pumpkin pie spice - 2 tablespoons
  • Pumpkin purée - 2 (15-ounce) cans

Dairy & Refrigerator

  • Butter, unsalted - 1 pound
  • Cream cheese - 8 ounces
  • Heavy cream - 4 cups
  • Eggs, large - 1 dozen
  • Frozen pie crust - 1 box (2 crusts)
  • Milk, whole - 1 quart
  • Sour cream - 1 cup
  • Turkey - 12-14 pounds

Bakery & Dry Goods

  • Breadcrumbs - 2 cups (make from bread)
  • Broth - 3 (32-ounce) boxes
  • Day-old bread - 32 ounces

Beverages

  • Super budget wine - 2 bottles
  • Tonic water - 2 liters
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