The first time I read a grocery store ad declaring “We Won’t Be Undersold on Turkeys – we will match any competitor’s price!” I thought WOW! I was new to deal hunting and finding major savings at grocery stores. But, I was serving 20 for Thanksgiving dinner, and I knew our family was expecting a fantastic turkey. Namely, Butterball, which was on sale at half the price at the store on the other side of town. I took the competitors ad in to our local store, and asked them to match the price.

They wouldn’t. The economy was much better, deals much harder to find, and the store simply said the ad didn’t mean they would match other stores turkey prices, just that their store brand turkey per pound price was competitive with the per pound price of a comparable turkey at the other store.

Hmmm. Well, how about the store brand fresh turkey, which was also cheaper at the other store? How about the store brand turkey breast, which was also more expensive than the competitors? Maybe the other store brand frozen turkey? Again, no. The specific store brand was different than any other local brand, and they would only match stores advertising a COUPON for a generic “store brand” frozen turkey, 12-15 pounds. I was never really sure that coupon existed, and the feeling of being deceived kept me from shopping at that store, or even trying to find deals, for over a year!

Thank goodness this Thanksgiving, stores are trying harder than ever to encourage customers to find “no reason to shop anywhere else” by removing some of the confusion on the low price guarantee. Of course, it can still be difficult to get stores that don’t normally “price match” competitors ads to provide a great deal. If so, here are a few general rules to remember:

1. Most stores price match on local brands, which they have all purchased and sell at the same per-pound price. In my area, it’s currently 49 cents a pound, in my sister’s local area it’s 29 cents per pound. My area won’t match my sister’s price.

2. We won’t be undersold on turkeys – only applies to store/local brand. Don’t expect to get national brands, free range, organic, or other “specialty” turkeys at a competitor’s price.

3. We will match any competitor’s advertised price – again, this only applies to the competitor’s store/local brand, not national brands, free range, organic, or other “specialty” turkeys.

4. We will match any competitor’s coupon – this requires you to produce the other stores coupon, in print, and it must be an exact comparison. Differences in brands, size, fresh versus frozen, or other criteria can exclude the offer.

5. Most price matches on turkey are limited to one per customer.

6. In all cases, you will need to provide printed evidence of the competitors offer, and in general internet printed coupon/prices are rarely honored.
So, how can you make this a fantastic deal? Combine deals. Some stores offer a special discount on your other purchases, especially “holiday meal” items, when you purchase your turkey there. Some stores allow you to accumulate points to a percent discount on purchases during Thanksgiving week (say 20% off your total order), encouraging you want to shop exclusively at that store. Maybe you earned a “$15 off your next order” coupon on a previous trip, and that $15 could be applied to the turkey and other purchases. Perhaps you have a $4 off any turkey coupon from your local store. Maybe you can earn an extra reward on your next shopping trip when you spend a certain amount at one store. Whatever the deals, combine them with the lowest prices, guaranteed, and find the Thanksgiving dinner you want for less.

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