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

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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)
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(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!

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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Get the Menu

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

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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

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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