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Load up: Hit the store soon to save on Thanksgiving dinner

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

PHOENIX — The time to shop and save for Thanksgiving dinner is now, not next week, a deals analyst said.

“If you plan well, you can stock your whole pantry at a fraction of the cost at any other time of year,” Alicia Markham with DealsInAZ.com said.

Even though the holiday is six days away, Markham said this week’s advertised coupons and discounts have a short shelf life.

If you wait until the day before Thanksgiving, “you’re going to have a whole different list of deals,” she warned, as retail groceries begin changing inventory for the next shopping event.

Besides, she reminded, “You’re going to have a lot of desperate shoppers.”

As of Friday, she can count dozens of freebies offered at Valley grocers.

“Like a free turkey at Safeway, a free pie and ice cream at Albertsons, free Readywhip at Fry’s.”

Granted she said, “those are all with-purchase deals.”

Some stores are offering straight discounts to customers with loyalty shopping cards. There’s even a discount for football fans,

“On Sunday, at Albertson’s or Safeway, if you wear your Cardinals (football) jersey, you’re going to get 10 percent off your groceries.”

As for cost comparison phone apps, Markham said she is finding fresh food deals using Ibotta.

“It actually gives you cash back for things already on your list and a lot of these are produce items.”

Consumer Reports listed its favorite grocery apps as Cellfire, SavingStar and GroceryIQ because they were the best at organizing shopping lists and finding the most current coupons.

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