Thermometer | Dutch Oven | Grill Skillet

Once again we combed through our data to see if there were any money-saving trends that coincided with Thanksgiving. Not only were there a ton of Thanksgiving and Fall items showing price drops during the holidays, but several seem to only dip once or twice a year. It’s our duty to report these saving opportunities before they go away.

Fall and Winter are the coziest seasons: comfy cardigans, wool blankets and Netflix, pumpkin-spiced everything, the scent of apple pie wafting through the house. It can also get a little spendy with all the hoopla surrounding the stacked holidays. Some spending-conscious strategies never get old, like taking advantage of holiday sales. In fact, our data show the holidays as one of two times during the year when prices drop the most. Parlaying online shopping with sales at brick and mortar stores, like your local grocery, is a modern way to eliminate that horrible feeling of overspending. Saving Season has begun, there’s no turning back.

Buying a Bigger Bird

Most grocery stores have sales on turkey leading up to Thanksgiving. This works out great for people that love, or need, to take advantage of this type of saving. Further, price drops on reusable containers like these freezer bags and these glass food storage containers are currently in full swing. Reusable containers don’t just help you save money in the not-so-long run, they’re also good for the environment.

Buying a larger bird is strategic because the leftovers can be eaten for weeks or even months after. Still, some of the biggest poultry fans worry about becoming tired of the same post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich that everyone grew up eating. Taking different approaches to your turkey preparation is a good way to keep your taste buds excited while saving time and money. Here are some preparation ideas along with a few items that can help you save during the holiday season and beyond.

Different Ways to Prepare Thanksgiving Turkey

Thermometer | Dutch Oven 

Fried Turkey

Not everyone needs to risk life and limb to enjoy deep-fried turkey. By all means, if you have the backyard space to deep fry an entire bird safely, this Backyard Turkey Fryer is typically cheaper than any other kit on the market. The already low price never really changes so it’s always a good time to buy. For years to come, your entire crew will be talking about that time you deep-fried an entire turkey.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillets

For everyone else, you can achieve delicious fried turkey in a cast iron skillet or a dutch oven. Coating a cast iron pan with a solid quarter inch of oil allows you to shallow fry a turkey in pieces lickity-split. This method is cathartic and satisfying for someone who likes to keep their hands busy while cooking.

Looking past the holidays, cast iron is great for searing proteins and vegetables and sticking it right in the oven, minimizing clean up. Currently, a lot of the Lodge cast iron products are in a price-drop.

Dutch Ovens

Dutch Ovens come coated in enamel or with seasoned raw iron (which often comes with a lid that is also a skillet). Both will allow you to fully immerse large pieces of turkey in hot oil, exactly like a conventional deep fryer. In fact, a ton of restaurants prefer this method for greater temperature control. It’s good to have a thermometer to help regulate cooking times and doneness. Additionally, this multi-functional tool is as perfect for braises, stews, grains, as it is for baking cakes and loaves of bread. As the price history chart shows, the holiday season shows multiple price-drops during the holiday season.  

Counter Top Fryer

A countertop fryer like the Ovente Deep Fryer is already super cheap in comparison to similar models and as of the time of writing, it happens to be in a current price dip. Try dry-brining a broken-down turkey and frying it in a few rounds, breaded or not. Also, having this fryer around going forward will help expedite dinners, and save you money on other meals and snacks.

Grilled Turkey

Grill Skillet | George Foreman Grill

George Foreman Grill

Before the Instant Pot became the king of kitchen convenience, there was the George Foreman Grill. Two turkey breasts sit comfortably on the model that is showing the biggest drop at the time this post was written. Also, if you want to take it up a notch, try spatchcocking a chicken or game hen and laying it flat between the grill plates. This is also a great time saver as it cooks on two sides rather than just one. This is the type of item that can be utilized in so many ways year-round, from grilled cheese to fajitas.

Judging by the price history chart, the price is about seven dollars lower than usual coasting into the holidays.

Lodge Cast Iron Grill Skillet

Another way to achieve grilled turkey without a barbeque is by using a cast iron grill skillet. You can break a full turkey down yourself or ask the butcher at your local grocery store to do it for you. It’s also easy to buy pieces of the turkey like breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, put grill marks all over the turkey pieces one by one, and finish them in the oven either on the skillet itself or on a sheet tray. After the holiday season has come to an end, do the same thing with vegetables, fish, and all kinds of protein, even tofu.

With minimal effort, these pans last, literally, for generations. And just like conventional skillets, the price history charts are showing a very low price point.

Try New Seasonings

Spice Blends

Another way to prepare a turkey that will keep you excited is by utilizing different spice blends. Just take a spice blend like Zaatar and rub it all over the bird inside and out. Mix your favorite blend with oil or butter to promote browning and even spice distribution. Bonus points if you bloom your spice blends in a dry pan, and extra bonus points if you grind them in an electric spice grinder or a mortar and pestle; the Lagostina Mortar and Pestle, at the time of writing, was 20 percent cheaper than the normal price.

Once the turkey is coated and roasted, you can eat it the traditional way, or you can tear it up and put it on a salad, in a pita with fresh greens, or in a sandwich. You can also combine it with aromatics, grains, and stock in an Instant Pot and have an outstanding, and angular spiced turkey stew. Also try other blends like this Creole Spice Rub, a Greek blend, or the classic Old Bay.

As we move from Fall and into Winter, we want to make sure that our users don’t have to worry about overpaying while they get cozy with their loved-ones. By taking advantage of camelcamelcamel’s mountains of data and free services like price-drop email alerts, it’s almost impossible to miss out on the lowest prices.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of savings season for all of North America. Like it or not, the time is now to think about what was missing from last year that would’ve really made a difference. Some wool socks? A light therapy lamp? Something to stop the draft coming from the door? Or maybe you just let the draft in, cover yourself with a super cozy blanket, coax the cat onto your lap, and escape into an epic Netflix binge.