10 ways to get a free turkey for Thanksgiving

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As inflation, avian flu and supply chain issues push turkey prices up over the past five years, some people are looking for alternatives to a turkey with all the trimmings and looking to serve everything from pizza roast beef. But you don’t have to sacrifice what is an annual indulgence for many people if you know where to look to find a free bird.

See: As inflation drives up turkey prices, here are 6 alternatives to serve on Thanksgiving
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Use cashback apps

Cashback apps like Ibotta are a great way to save money all year round. But they can also help stretch your vacation budget.

Ibotta is offering a 100% cashback offer on qualifying Thanksgiving food — including a whole frozen turkey — when you shop at Walmart. It’s easy to claim the offer. First, add the eligible offers to your Ibotta account. Then shop any of 10 popular Thanksgiving items at Walmart and earn 100% cash back on each one. The total supply value is $26.99 and the items were put together to feed a family of five, according to CNBC.com.

Redeem credit card rewards

If you’ve already started your holiday shopping and accumulated credit card rewards, or have rewards in your account, you can redeem them for a gift card at a grocery store, Walmart, Target, or even Amazon, because Amazon Fresh a Frozen Butterball Turkey in stock. It’s a great way to cut costs this holiday season with the cash back rewards you’ve accumulated over the year.

Collect supermarket rewards

Many grocery stores including Weis Market, Foodtown, ShopRite, Acme Markets, Giant and Hy-Vee offer free turkeys as part of their rewards program. You’ll need to spend between $250 and $400 using the store’s respective loyalty card to accumulate enough points to claim your turkey.

Check with your local pantry

Local pantries often get donations of turkeys at this time of year. You might want to reach out now to let your local pantry know you’re in need, rather than risk it by waiting until the last minute. To find a food pantry near you, visit FeedingAmerica.org and enter your zip code.

Contact local churches or other religious organizations

Even if your local church or religious organization does not have a food pantry, these organizations often seek to help community members in need. It doesn’t hurt to ask if they host food drives or if they can help you with a turkey. If they can’t, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Call Centraide 211

United Way is another organization that helps connect people in need with places that can offer help. Call 211 or visit 211.org to find resources that can help you and your family through the holiday season, including places to find a free Thanksgiving turkey.

Check with your school district

School district counselors and social workers often call on community agencies that can help families in need. Your local school may even organize its own food drive to help the residents of the district. You can find the phone number for a social worker in your district on your school district’s website. If you have kids in school, start with their school first.

Ask in Facebook Buy Nothing or community-focused groups

Facebook is made up of more than 10 million groups focused on different topics, with more than 1.8 billion total members, according to InfluencerMarketingHub.com. There are many groups focused on community support, and also many that focus on buying, selling, or exchanging items within the community.

If you are in need this holiday season, post in these groups. A member can simply have an extra turkey they are willing to donate. Some people, including Costco workers, get free turkeys from their jobs. Still, they might not need it if they’re traveling or not hosting Thanksgiving themselves. Other people get several free turkeys from supermarket rewards and are happy to share their wealth.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals to seniors in need, including turkey dinners on Thanksgiving. The service is offered to adults over 60 who demonstrate a need. You will need to qualify through an application process and assessment, and there may be a waiting list for approval. So if you think you qualify, visit MealsonWheelsAmerica.org to start the process before the holidays.

Go turkey hunting

Most of the free turkeys you will receive from the sources above are of the frozen variety. But if you like the taste of fresh turkey, which currently sells for $6.70 a pound, it may be more profitable to hunt wild turkey yourself.

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Keep in mind that there are additional costs associated with hunting, including the cost of a hunting license, firearm and ammunition or bow and arrow, and fees of displacement. You may also need to purchase a separate license specifically to hunt turkeys. Of course, you will need to know how to dress your turkey crop, butcher it, and prepare it for cooking. In short, hunting wild turkeys for your Thanksgiving table is decidedly not free, but if you enjoy hunting as a hobby, you might as well enjoy the quality fresh poultry that comes from your hard work and dedication. initial investment.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Ways to Get a Free Turkey for Thanksgiving

Christy J. Olson