Thanksgiving Dinner Easily Costs Over $40. So How Do You Feed Six People for $1 Total?

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Figuring out how to throw together a full Thanksgiving meal with a total budget of just $1 is the mission of one blogger, who agreed to the Turkey Day challenge on a dare from his sister.

This isn’t the first such crazy-sounding challenge taken on by Jeffrey Strain, who blogs at Grocery Coupon Guide and who recently impressively came in way under budget on his quest to spend no more than $100 on food for 100 days, mostly by his ninja-like skills with coupons and store loyalty reward programs. The $1-a-day challenge was also initially prompted by a dare from his sister, and it is unclear if any of these challenges were simple dares or of the “triple dog dare” ilk. Regardless, let’s hope this lady doesn’t dare Strain to jump off a bridge, or stick his tongue to a frozen pole, or survive by actually eating supermarket coupons anytime soon.

A few weeks ago, Strain announced the latest challenge, which may have been little more than his sister’s brilliant ploy to get out of shopping or preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Or having to pay a dime for it, of course. Strain’s goal is to purchase and prepare a full Thanksgiving meal for six with a budget of just a buck. For an idea of how difficult this is, consider that the American Farm Bureau estimates that a Thanksgiving feast for ten will cost an average of $43.47, or about $4.35 a person—cheaper than a fast food lunch, but considerably more than Strain is trying to spend.

The meal is to include mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, veggies, and of course, a turkey—not a jive turkey or tofurkey, but the real deal. The problem, as Strain recounted in his most recent post, is that deals for most of these items have been hard to come by. Luckily, commenters have been eager to offer Strain advice on cooking (he’s admittedly clueless in the kitchen), and on getting food for free or cheap, including:

Last year, Walmart had awesome promos and lowered the prices on Thanksgiving ingredients.. when i stacked with coupons, I got free or almost free stuffing, chicken broth, and almost free turkey (Butterball had some coupon out)


Walgreens had some good “thanksgiving food” coupons in this week’s insert, and I think they had a money maker this week as well, if you could do something there??

And this one you gotta love:

If you already have a hunting permit and a gun, I’d start by buying a couple bullets … for a deer or other game, not for your sister.

If you’ve got any (legal, non-homicidal) tips, chime in and help Jeffrey out. Don’t let his sister win!