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How to make a Thanksgiving feast for under $50

Luckily, there are five hidden secrets that can help you plan a thanksgiving feast for under 50 bucks.

With the pandemic, it's safe to say this year's Thanksgiving is different than any we've ever had. For one, items at the grocery store are more expensive right now. Luckily, there are five hidden secrets that can help you plan a thanksgiving feast for under 50 bucks.

Gina Zakaria, financial expert and money blogger filled us in on the tips.

1.) How does a low cost or even free turkey sound? If you get everything you need from one store, you could save big.

Many times, major grocery chains will offer a free turkey or heavily discounted turkey if you spend $25 or $50 in groceries. Check the ads and specials at your favorite stores.

*Bonus savings: Staying at one shop means you'll save time running from store to store, which means saving gas as well.

2.) Take advantage of rebate apps. You can get food for free!

Use shopping rebates like Rakuten, Ibotta, Shopkick, and Fetch Rewards to get cash back on grocery items you needed to buy anyway. Zakaria said Ibotta is partnering with Walmart doing something she's never seen before! They're offering a free thanksgiving dinner by using cashback rewards! 

RELATED: How shoppers can get free Thanksgiving dinners through Ibotta

"You can get almost 100% cashback on everything thanksgiving including stuffing, gravy, turkey and mashed potatoes," she said.

3.) Get generic items

If you plan on buying convenient dinner helpers, like boxed mashed potatoes or stuffing, consider buying the generic-brand varieties.

"The generic is usually right next to name brand and most people don't know that factories that manufacture the brand names manufacture generics as well," said Zakaria.

4.) Speaking of boxed items, DIY your food as much as you can.

It's way more expensive buying precooked or prepackaged ready to eat items. While it may sound daunting to make your sides, there are tons of easy recipes out there. Even something as minor as making the bread for your stuffing can add up savings.

"Making your own bread for stuffing is seven cents for the loaf compared to a box that's a dollar or two," said Zakaria.

5.) Make a list of what exactly you need and stick with it when shopping.

This will help prevent you from overspending when you're wandering the grocery aisles..

"If you stick to a shopping list, it's easier to save money doing it that way, said Zakaria.