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Comparing the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner

Your waistline isn't the only thing getting stretched on Turkey Day.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - This time of year, you are going to get tons of ads. One of the latest targets is your Thanksgiving feast!

Ads promise sales that can seem too good to be true. Sometimes, they are.

Walmart issued a promise saying its customers can plan a 10-person dinner at its store for just over $33.

We shopped Walmart's aisles ourselves and put it to the test, so your wallet doesn't have to.

Here is the shopping list that Walmart says they can provide for that price tag:

  • 16-pound turkey
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberries
  • Veggies
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fixings for pumpkin pie.

The turkey is always the highest ticket item, and we found it at Walmart for 87 cents a pound. The turkey's total cost was $13.92.

Our grand total was $37 - just a little more than Walmart's $33 promised price tag.

The $33 is, of course, a national estimate. But, KARE 11 Sunrise was surprised we even got close to that. This total doesn't include spices, other side dishes or beverages. But, it's not a bad deal when you break it down.

We wanted to compare this total to what you might spend at your local grocery store. So, we did the math for the cost of Thanksgiving dinners at Hy-Vee, Target, Cub and Lunds & Byerlys.

Here's the cost of 16-pound frozen turkeys at each store:

Grocery StoresCost of 16-pound turkey
Target $12.94
Lunds & Byerlys$15.84

For side dishes, we looked at the cheapest brands for these foods: fresh cranberries (1 lb.), fresh sweet potatoes (3lb.), fresh carrots (1 lb.), fresh celery (1 bunch), frozen green peas (two 10oz. bags), frozen green beans (two 10oz. bags), 9” frozen pie shells (2 per package), Herb-Seasoned Cube Stuffing (14 oz.), dinner rolls (1 dozen), Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix (30 oz. can), whole milk (1 gallon) and whipping cream (1/2 pint).

Here's the leftover cost of ingredients at each store, plus the grand total:

Grocery StoresCost of Sides/DessertTotal Cost
Lunds & Byerlys$32.41$48.25

Not bad for a meal that brings everyone together.