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3 On Your Side: Thanksgiving Dinner For $20

Dinner
jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — How much are you planning to spend on your holiday dinner? From the turkey to all the fixin’s, the cost to feed a family a holiday meal can be expensive. But Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan introduces us to a woman who says that with some planning, many families can prepare a feast for much, much less.

So what’s for Thanksgiving dinner at your house? Chances are there will be at least one turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and don’t forget the cranberry sauce and the pumpkin pie! For some, Thanksgiving means they have to spend, spend, spend. But expert shopper Susan Samtur told us that she could cook up a feast for under $20! So 3-On Your Side put her to the test.

Samtur is a former school teacher turned best selling author. Her first book, “Cashing In at the Checkout,” sold over a million copies and she’s now known as the Coupon Queen. Samtur says that the front and back pages of the supermarket circular are always a wealth of information. That’s where some of the best shopping deals are highlighted. She combines those circular savings with coupons that she’s clipped and says as a result she realizes greater savings. She also looks to shop at markets that double her coupons, which in the end makes the savings even more significant.

On our shopping trip we visited an Acme supermarket in South Philadelphia. Over a period of an hour Samtur loaded her cart up with the following supplies:

1 16 lb. Turkey

5 boxes frozen vegetables

1 head of lettuce

4 varieties of salad dressing

4 cans of crushed pineapple

2 containers of bread crumbs

1 5 lb. bag of sugar

1 5 lb. bag of flour

2 half gallons of orange juice

4 cans Bumble Bee tuna

1 box of rigatoni

1 large jar of pasta sauce

2 large cans of Progresso soup

2 containers of Quaker Oats

1 container of Folgers coffee

1 large jar of Helmann’s mayo

2 bags of Diamond walnuts

2 cans of cranberry sauce

4 containers of yogurt

1 container of sour cream

1 package of Kraft singles

1 12 pack of Coke

2 boxes of cake mix

2 containers of frosting

1 bottle of cooking oil

2 bags of cookie dough

1 decorative squash

Some of the items wouldn’t normally be part of a Thanksgiving meal, but Samtur buys them anyway. It’s part of a strategy to save by which she takes advantage of multi purchase deals like 10 for 10, mix and match, and buy one get one free. She says, “If you do that every time you shop you can really take advantage of the savings that the store has.”

But as the cart filled up with everything from appetizer ingredients to the deserts we were still missing the main attraction, the turkey!

Acme had a deal that few shoppers can pass up, 39 cents a pound! Samtur says, “This would be the time to buy it, this is the best price that you are ever going to find on a turkey.”

At the register, the total cost of Samtur’s shopping spree was a budget busting $119.60. But then she pulled out her coupons. They were store coupons, manufacturers coupons, online coupons, and some could be redeemed for free products. When all was said and done the final price that she paid was $9.89! She didn’t even spend half of our $20 budget. But she certainly had the ingredients to prepare a feast fit for a king. And in this case, she proved it could be done on a Coupon Queen budget.

Each supermarket chain or store has different policies regarding what types of coupons they’ll accept. So be sure to check with customer service before loading up your cart. For more information on Susan Samtur, and to get her free video on which she shares her Coupon Queen secrets. Visit www.couponqueen.com.

Reported By: Jim Donovan, CBS 3