COLLEGE STATION — Consumers who did not collect enough coupons or register tapes for a free Thanksgiving turkey will still be able to get one for as little as 19 cents a pound in November.
“All they have to do is wait until the week before Thanksgiving and spend between $30 and $50 on one of their shopping trips,” said Dr. Richard Edwards, food marketing specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. “If people do not want to spend that much, they will probably have to pay at least 29 cents per pound for a turkey.”
Only store brands will be offered at this price, but the turkey still will be wholesome, tasting and self-basting, Edwards said. Consumers who prefer a national brand bird, can expect to pay 39 to 69 cents per pound during the week prior to Thanksgiving Day.
Some may prefer a ham instead of a turkey for the holidays, or both. Boneless hams will be on sale for $1.29 to $1.49 per pound early in the month as will five-pound canned hams, priced around $7, according to Edwards. Other items on special will include five-pound bags of sugar at $1 to $1.29, powdered sugar and brown sugar in one- pound packages at 39 to 49 cents per package and cake mixes for 69 cents each.
For those who wish to make a favorite desert for Thanksgiving, frozen pie shells, butter, cream cheese, whipping cream, chocolate chips, and many other popular baking ingredients will be priced between 15 and 20 percent below regular retail prices.
Mid-month specials will be found on pumpkin pie mix, cranberry sauce, and stuffing at 49 to 69 cents each, he said. Oranges and grapefruit from the new crop will begin arriving in supermarkets in fairly large quantities. Prices for grapefruit will be around 20 cents each. The best price on oranges will be pre-packaged bags at 45 to 50 cents per pound.
Produce items on special throughout the month will be apples and pears at 69 to 79 cents per pound and potatoes packaged in 10-pound bags for around $1 per bag. Lettuce will be priced at 49 to 69 cents per head and precut salad mix will be on sale for around $1.39 per pound package.
Sweet potatoes will be marked down to 39 cents per pound. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and winter squash prices will be reduced by up to 20 percent. Bananas will be on special, but the pricing will be in pound multiples such as four pounds for 99 cents.
In the meat section, ground beef will continue to be the low price leader in the beef section at 99 cents per pound for a five- pound package, Edwards said. Chuck steak will be featured at $1.29 to $1.69 per pound. Round steak and sirloin steak will be reduced to $1.69 to $1.79 per pound. Prices on t-bone steak will decline to about $3 to $3.25 per pound. Just before Thanksgiving, look for standing rib roast at about $4 per pound.
Other than hams, heavy promotions also will be seen on pork chops and whole boneless loins. The chop prices will range from $1.39 to $1.79 per pound, depending on the portion of the loin from which they are cut and the mixture of cuts in the package. Boneless loins will be priced at around $3.50 per pound when the entire loin is purchased. Smoked sausage will be on sale for $1.39 per pound. Fresh stuffed sausage, bacon, and pan sausage will also be priced in the $1.19 to $1.39 per pound range.
Chicken prices will be discounted a bit more than usual late in the month as consumers tend to feel that they have had enough poultry for a while. Prices will drop below $1 per pound for breasts with bone and skin attached. Boneless and skinless breasts will be sold for around $1.89 per pound. The leg-thigh combination will be a good buy at 49 cents per pound in 5- and 10-pound bags.
Sales of fresh seafood will be at a low ebb except for the traditional pints of oysters. Price reductions will be on shrimp and catfish — medium size shrimp, 51-60 per pound, for between $5 and $5.50 per pound and catfish fillets for around $4 per pound.
Edwards offers a word of caution for oyster buyers. “A favorite display technique is to place the containers in a free standing tub of ice next to the seafood counter,” he said. “Often, only about one-half of the can is actually in the ice. This can be a potential hazard. Food safety experts suggest you only buy oysters from such displays if the ice totally surrounds the container so that the temperature is low and uniform throughout the container.”
National brands of refrigerated orange juice, which are usually on sale for around $1.59 per one-half gallon, will be discounted another 20 to 25 cents per carton. Store brands will be sold for around $1 per one-half gallon. Frozen orange juice concentrate will also be reduced by about 15 percent.
National brands of yogurt will be priced in the 40 to 50 cent range and store brands will be at least 10 cents per container cheaper.