Thanksgiving meal deals in Houston

HOUSTON But this holiday season, it seems finding the free stuff is not as easy. It all depends on where you shop.

The free deals that are usually found near Thanksgiving are only in a few places this year. That's not to say that good deals are gone, you may just have to look a little harder for them.

Even abc 13's own Super Saver Erin Libranda (SEE HER BLOG) is having a tough time scoring free turkeys this year.

"In the years past, you could get two or three turkeys a year from Randall's or Kroger by saving the turkey bucks, and they have basically done away with that," the Super Saver said.

One reason for the vanishing freebies maybe the cost of food. According to the US Farm Bureau, food for a Thanksgiving Day meal for ten will cost about $44 this year. That's an increase of more than $2 over last year.

That's not to say the deals are completely gone.

"Look for in store specials, it might not be in the ad, look for price matching," advised Libranda. "Wal-Mart price matches."

In fact at Wal-Mart, the company is selling a dinner that will feed eight for just $35 and it even includes the wine.

"You have your turkey, your mixed vegetables, your gravy and cranberry sauce, four pounds of yams, dinner rolls, wine and stuffing," said Wal-Mart's Laddie Trainer.

If you are looking to save time, Kroger is offering two completely cooked meals. They cost $39.99 for an eight person dinner and $59.99 for a 12 person feast. Kroger officials say orders are up by 40% this year.

"Orders are going really good, they are up from last year and we have fried turkey dinners, roasted turkey, smoked turkey dinners," said Cassaundra Brown with Kroger.

Kroger sent out 200,000 free turkey coupons to loyal shoppers earlier this month, but over at HEB, shoppers can still find a free food deal right now.

"If you buy one of these already sliced and cooked spiral hams from HEB, you can get free 10 pounds of turkey for you," said Jerry Ontiberoz with HEB.

The shoppers we spoke with say they are still satisfied with the prices they are finding, but more than one noticed the free turkeys are not as plentiful.

You might see a few more sales advertised this weekend and you may see a few more free turkey offers, but shoppers might have to wait until after Thanksgiving. If that is the case, go get one and leave it in the freezer until Christmas.

See our full Thanksgiving Guide

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