WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

What is on your frugal Thanksgiving menu?

Posted November 21, 2013

Faye's pumpkin pie


If you don't already have your Thanksgiving menu planned, now is the time to pull it all together. Thankfully, we have had so many good deals on traditional holiday foods that it should be easy to provide a bountiful feast for a reasonable cost.

Please share your Thanksgiving menu or favorite dish! Feel free to include links to recipes as well.

Following is our Thanksgiving menu. We will have 6 people for our Thanksgiving Day meal (including 2 grandparents) and an additional 5 people joining us for dessert later in the evening.



Buffalo chicken dip (using chicken on sale for $1.99/lb recently)

Herb & Garlic Greek yogurt dip (Heluva dip .50 with sale and coupon)

Veggies and Wheat Thins for dipping in to the dips


Main dishes

House of Raeford Whole turkey, 14 lbs (these are .47/lb at Lowes Foods right now) with gravy

Brisket (not frugal but my dad made a special request)



Broccoli slaw with ramen noodles (not terribly frugal but it is tradition at our house and everyone requests it every year!)  - the recipe for broccoli slaw can be found in the WRAL Recipe Database at the link in the box above. Search for Broccoli Slaw.

Sweet potato casserole with a coconut pecan topping (sweet potatoes .33/lb at Lowes Foods this week, Fisher pecans are from the last HT super doubles on sale with coupon)

Homemade mushroom stuffing (celery and onions are both on sale this week at multiple places)

Sunflower sourdough rolls from a fabulous baker at the Farmer's Market

Cranberry sauce



Pumpkin Pies (using the traditional Libby's pie recipe)

Mini cheesecakes with blueberry sauce on top (blueberries bought a couple months ago when in season and then frozen)



Sparkling grape juice for the kids







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  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Nov 23, 2013

    jabbo22 - you are so organized! I am impressed. I have a less organized but similar method, since we have many of the same foods each year as well. I have a section for holidays in my 3-ring binder recipe book and keep all the Thanksgiving recipes there so I just have to pull them out to make the grocery list. You may have motivated me to make a master list now. Would make it much easier next year. Thanks!

  • Brooklyn Nov 22, 2013

    robinenterkin, I'll post tomorrow. I've made them for years but only make them at this time of year so I don't remember the exact ingredients.

  • jabbo22 Nov 22, 2013

    We host 8-10 (all now adults) with lots of food and we do all the cooking except the stuffing. The guests want the same menu every year, so I've got all my recipes organized in the computer and have a total grocery list down to each teaspoon! So, I print it out early and start picking up things as they go on sale/coupons. It really helps to get things on sale and to spread the cost out over a couple of months. They stay with us for 3 days--that's a lot of food! :)

  • RaleighFoodBlogger Nov 22, 2013

    DianeNC- We went to the Washington Duke Inn a few years ago for their Christmas buffet, and it was the BEST dinner I've ever had out (which is saying a lot... and still dream of a few of the dishes!!) I'm assuming their Thanksgiving buffet will be just as good... just wanted to pass along :-)

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Nov 22, 2013

    meredith88 - that sounds like a wonderful tradition to start!

    Thanks to everyone for sharing your frugal menus and dishes. That pineapple casserole is fascinating!

  • DianeNC Nov 22, 2013

    Ooops! Can't believe I forgot Crac*er Barrel!

  • DianeNC Nov 22, 2013

    In addition, there's also:

    The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham will be hosting a traditional holiday buffet on Thanksgiving Day. Seatings will run from 12:00 pm until 9:00 pm. (Their bar will be open from 11 am until midnight.) $69.00 for adults (13 years and older), $25.00 for children 6 -12, children 5 & younger are complimentary. Parties of 6 or more are subject to 19% Service Charge. For reservations:

    Jimmy V's Osteria & Bar in Raleigh will be offering a family style Thanksgiving from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day. $24 for adults, 12 and under eat free when donating to their food drive. (919) 256-1451

    Ruth's Chris Steak House in Cary and Raleigh will be offering a traditional three-course turkey dinner for $36.95 or $37.95 (depending on location) per person. Children's menu is available for $12.95 for children 12 and un

  • DianeNC Nov 22, 2013

    Although I'm guessing it wouldn't be considered frugal, there are a variety of restaurants who will be open on Thanksgiving this year serving Thanksgiving dinner (either buffet, family style, or a Thanksgiving menu). I've posted two lists, below. (Parizade in Durham is even hosting a vegan Thanksgiving meal.)

  • pirategirl12 Nov 22, 2013

    My sister is hosting Thanksgiving at her home this year so we are all bringing a dish or 2. By request, I am making a crockpot of Fordhook Lima Beans (although I was born here, my fam is from VT) and Bacon/Pecan Brussel Sprouts! yum! Hubby and I will have our private day after Thanksgiving meal. That's when I cook a Smoked Ham, mash taters, asparagus, yankee stuffing w/ sausage and taters and whatever else we think of!

  • meredith88 Nov 21, 2013

    My husband and I are not having a Thanksgiving dinner for the 2 of us this year. Instead we are volunteering at a soup kitchen Thanksgiving Day for lunch. It's a tradition we hope to start this year and continue for years to come. Thanksgiving night we will eat with my mother-in-law who will most likely take us to Golden Corral. Friday is the big Thanksgiving dinner with my side of the family. There will be 15 of us. My mom will make most of the food herself but we will probably take some mashed potatoes (5lb bag at $1.79 last week) and a dessert. There will be a 20lb turkey, a venison roast, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, giblet gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, home made bread, cranberry sauce, grilled pineapple, banana bread, and pumpkin pies. It sounds like a lot of food but after 15 full grown adults eat there are very few leftovers ;)