CHRISTMAS is always a clucking expensive time of year – but The Sun has revealed how you can at least save money on the turkey.
We’ve done a price comparison test to find the cheapest frozen, fresh and luxury birds, and it shows that you can pick up a whole bird from just £8.99 at one budget supermarket.
Aldi takes the (turkey) crown this year for the cheapest frozen bird, while Morrisons wins twice for having the least pricey fresh and premium turkeys.
Our price comparison test also reveals the cheapest frozen, fresh and luxury turkeys at every major grocery shop in case you’re loyal to one supermarket.
It’s always best to shop around though, as our analysis reveals that you can save up to £35.36 depending on which supermarket you visit.
Of course, you may find cheaper turkeys from an independent or local butcher where they are more likely to be locally sourced and have lived with higher standards of animal welfare. You can check these prices on the directory findabutcher.co.uk.
To find the cheapest, we did our best to compare birds like-for-like where possible and took the cost per kg into account.
So where can you buy the cheapest bird?
Cheapest frozen turkey – £8.99 from Aldi (£2.64 per kg)
It won’t surprise many to find a budget supermarket taking the crown for the cheapest frozen turkey.
Aldi’s frozen British Oakhurst Turkey is just £2.64 per kilogram and serves seven people, with a pack price of £8.99 – the lowest of any supermarket.
It’s 30p cheaper per kg than a similar Bernard Matthews bird from Iceland, which costs £10 and has the same average weight as the Aldi bird.
Aldi’s bird is half the price of Waitrose’s posher Essential Waitrose Frozen Turkey Small which costs £18 for an average 4.75kg bird – or £3.60 per kg.
While most fresh turkeys won’t go on sale until a few days before Christmas, frozen birds are on sale now so it’s a good choice for anyone who wants to get ahead with their shopping.
Shoppers might have expected to see Lidl competing with Aldi for the cheapest bird, but unfortunately the supermarket was not able to supply its turkey prices.
Meanwhile a spokesman from Co-op said it is only stocking a limited number of frozen turkeys in a handful of stores as it is a convenience retailer.
Cheapest fresh turkey – £9.16 from Morrisons (£4 per kg)
Morrisons won alongside Asda and Tesco last year for its fresh turkey but this year, the supermarket takes the crown alone.
At £4 per kg, its Whole British Turkey – available online and in stores from December 20 – is the same value for money as ones by Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
But when you take the average weight into account, Morrisons’ turkey is by far the cheapest with an average pack price of £9.16.
That’s because it has the smallest turkeys, with an average weight of 2.3kg, which feeds three to four people.
If you need to feed more people, you might want to opt for Tesco’s Whole Turkey, which has the same price per kg.
It doesn’t come in a small size so it has an average weight of 5.25kg, which feeds up to 14 people, and therefore has a more expensive average pack price of £23.96.
After Morrisons, the next cheapest is Sainsbury’s XS Turkey, which has an average pack price of £9.96 as its average weight is 2.49kg.
Both Morrisons’ and Sainsbury’s fresh turkeys are more than three times cheaper than Waitrose’s Essential Waitrose Turkey, which costs £5 per kg.
The average weight of one of the posh supermarket’s birds is a sizeable 5kg, which feeds eight people and would cost you £30.
It’s the only fresh turkey you can order online now, as all the others only go on sale between December 18 and 20.
But if you want to get ahead, you can pre-order most of the birds online.
The one exception is Aldi, which will be available in stores only from December 19.
Pre-ordering is a good idea if you want to make sure you’re not left without a turkey on the big day as fresh ones are likely to be popular and could even sell out.
Cheapest premium fresh turkey – £16.45 from Morrisons (£6.75 per kg)
If you want to splash out on a luxury bird for this year’s Christmas, Morrisons sells the cheapest posh turkey.
Premium birds are often more expensive but they’re usually free-range so you know the animal has been treated better during its life.
Free-range birds spend time outside and usually live in nicer conditions than battery-farmed turkeys, which produce cheaper meat.
Morrisons’ The Best British Free Range Whole Bronze Turkey costs £6.75 per kg and has an average pack price of just £16.54.
But that’s because the supermarket’s birds are smaller on average than ones sold at other supermarkets, with an average weight of 2.45kg – enough to feed three to four people.
If you want a bigger bird and slightly better value for money, you’d be better shopping at Aldi as its Specially Selected Fresh British Roly Poly Turkey has the lowest price per kg of any luxury bird at £6.29 per kg.
Its average bird weighs 5kg – enough to feed up to 10 people – so a turkey will cost you about £31.45 on average.
Alternatively, Asda sells an Extra Special Free Range Whole Corn Fed Bronze Turkey.
It’s more expensive per kg at £6.49 per kg but it has a cheaper average pack price of £30.83 because its birds are a bit smaller on average.
You can pre-order Asda’s birds now, and they will be available on December 19.
Aldi’s birds will also go on sale in stores on December 19.
Meanwhile Morrisons starts selling fresh turkeys on December 20 but you can pre-order them now.
Bargain hunters will want to avoid Waitrose as its Free Range Turkey costs £35.36 more than Morrisons’ bird, with a pack price of £51.90 for a 5kg turkey.
What’s cheaper – whole bird, crown, joint or breast?
A turkey crown is the whole bird that’s had the dark meat removed – the legs and the wings – so you’re left with the white meat and no giblets.
They’re typically a few pounds cheaper than a whole bird and are quicker to cook too.
Turkey breast doesn’t take long to cook either but you’ll get significantly less meat – that means you won’t have any for the Boxing day leftover sandwiches.
Morrisons sells boneless turkey breast for £4 – but you only get 465g of meat.
Turkey joints are a cheaper alternative too and can come on the bone or rolled up. They usually don’t need much preparation either.
There are also pre-made Christmas dinners, which are the ultimate convenient way to have turkey on December 25 without any of the faff.
Tesco sells a Finest Christmas Dinner for Two with turkey, all the trimmings, a Christmas pudding, Champagne and even a cracker for £35.
It’s available from December 22 – and would be perfect for elderly people or anyone who doesn’t want to cook a festive feast from scratch.
What turkey alternatives are there?
It’s definitely the most popular option for Christmas Day, but not everyone celebrates with a turkey on December 25.
Traditionally, the Yuletide feast was centred around a goose which you can also pick up from most supermarkets.
There’s been a rise in the three-bird roast over the years which typically see different poultry meat wrapped around each other – one of them is almost always turkey.
They’re pricier than a whole turkey though and you won’t get as much meat.
Aldi sells the cheapest frozen Three Game Roast we’ve seen for £10.99 – and it contains guinea fowl, duck and goose, with no turkey in sight.
Alternatively, you could opt for an unusual Christmas Dinner Wellington filled with turkey and stuffing on sale at Aldi, which only costs £6.99 and feeds four.
Some people ditch poultry altogether, and enjoy a fancy steak or gammon joint instead.
Vegetarians meanwhile often opt for a nut roast at Christmas.
Most supermarkets will send fresh turkeys with a best before date of December 26 or later.
The sooner you buy your bird, the sooner it will go off – but we have a guide that shows you how to check if it’s still safe to eat.
If you want to find out which turkey will taste test, Iceland’s £26 frozen turkey came top of Good Housekeeping’s taste test.
Meanwhile Aldi was named the cheapest supermarket to do your Christmas food shopping at last week.
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