Time-savings Soup-to-nuts Feasts Can Fit All Budgets

November 27, 1991|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

Tomorrow is the day when everybody in your house is going to want toeat -- a lot.

So today you have to go shopping.

Watch out, the stores will be crowded with frantic, last-minute bargain hunters, who probably are hungry.

To help you through the aisles, we've compiled prices for families on a meat-and-potatoes budget and for those with a palate for hors d'oeuvres, oyster stuffing and leg of lamb.

Your grandmother might not approve of some of the recommendations, such as boxed stuffing, canned gravy or sauerkraut from a bag, but the shortcuts will give you more time to watch football, gossip with relatives or take a nap.

You won't bust your budget buying a bird. Area grocery stores are offering sales on the traditional main dish. At George's IGA in Finksburg, for example, frozen turkeys are going for 39 cents a pound with a $50 purchase, manager Mark Ciepiela said.

Prices for fresh turkeys vary, but average about 79cents a pound.

Price tags aren't much different from last year, when fresh birds went for 69 cents to 99 cents a pound.

Most peoplebuy a 16- to 18-pound turkey to feed eight people, said Bob Reinhardt, gourmet meat specialist at Giant Food in Westminster.

A simple Thanksgiving meal for eight could cost around $20, if you really cut corners, and before you add tax. Most of these prices were gathered at Giant.

Here's the menu:

* A 16-pound turkey, 39 cents a pound: $6.24.

* Three boxes of boxed stuffing, 99 cents each: $2.97.

* Four pounds of Idaho potatoes to mash, 99 cents for 2 pounds: $2.

* Two cans of canned turkey gravy, 60 cents each: $1.20.

* Fresh carrots, three 1-pound bags: 99 cents.

* Canned sweet peas, one 17-ounce can for 53 cents: $1.06.

* Canned cranberry sauce, one 16-ounce can: 53 cents.

* Twelve brown-and-serve rolls: 54 cents.

* Pumpkin pie, one can of pie mix and a box of pie crust mix: $1.94.

* One gallon of milk: $2.72.

Total: $20.19.

For those with a deeper wallet, the cash register tape could get very long for eightpeople because the eating and drinking could start early and continue late.

Hors d'oeuvres might include brie for $6.60 a pound and crackers for about $2 a box.

For shrimp cocktail, you could buy three

pounds of cooked shrimp at $10.99 a pound and a jar of cocktail sauce for $2.19.

Instead of turkey, you could serve leg of lamb at$2.58 a pound, duck at $1.28 pound, capon at $2.09 or young goose at$2.39 a pound.

To make oyster stuffing for eight, you'll need about 24 ounces of oysters. A pint and a half of fresh Chesapeake Bay standard oysters cost $13.68.

For fried oysters, 1 pound of select oysters costs $8.99.

If you add yams to the menu, you'll need two 24-ounce cans, which cost $1.19 each.

A 32-ounce bag of fresh sauerkraut costs 89 cents.

Gourmet bread will cost $1.99 for a loaf of braided hallah bread and $1.09 for a round loaf of sourdough bread.

If you're bored with pumpkin pie, try a gourmet apple pie for $5.99or a carrot cake from the bakery for $10.99.

If you add alcohol to the mix, your cost will climb even higher.

At Cranberry Liquors in Westminster, manager Tim Haislip recommended a Johannisberg Riesling white wine, which ranges from $5.99 to $8.99 a bottle.

For eight people, you'll need four bottles, he said.

If you'd rather not have white wine, you could choose a Zinfandel for $9.99 a bottle or a Pinot Noir red for $10.99 a bottle.

For beer drinkers at your table, you could splurge on the most expensive beer in stock and buy a case of Samuel Smith English lager for $45.99, Haislip said.

Or you could settle for Budweiser at $13.49 a case.

For cordials after dinner, you could serve Bailey's Irish Cream, which sells for $15.99 a bottle, Kahlua for $12.99 a bottle or Grand Marnier liquor for $23.99a bottle.

Bon appetit.

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