By the time you shop, prep, and cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner, $95 to $300 for a ready-made one may not seem like such a decadent splurge. Some of my friends have been having their heat-and-eat feasts delivered for years, saying it gives them more time to be with and enjoy their families. Sending a ready-made turkey or even just a delicious dessert to a faraway loved one is also a nice way to stay connected at the holidays. But if you’re thinking of having your turkey and sides cooked and delivered by someone else, you better do it fast. I just checked the Costco site and their $149.99 deluxe turkey feast is already out of stock! In fact, most of the sites, I checked suggest ordering as early as possible. Here’s a very small sampling of what you can expect to get.
Honeybakedham.com This site is known for its hams, which by the way, was our No. 1 winner in our recent mail-order ham taste-off. But you can also order an entire Thanksgiving turkey dinner complete with sides and dessert. Just click on Thanksgiving to see all the options. The Whole Roasted Turkey Feast, $78.95 plus shipping to your area, includes an 11-13 pound cooked turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato soufflé, gravy, and pecan pie. We didn’t test this meal in our labs, but my friend Janice ordered it last year and raved about it.
Wholefoodsmarket.com Go online and see the pre-cooked holiday menus; order online and then pick up your meal in the store. Turkey & Sides for 8, $149.99, includes a fully cooked 10-12 pound turkey (or raw oven-ready turkey you cook yourself), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, cranberry orange relish, and gravy.
Your local supermarket Some grocers and specialty food shops in my area are also featuring fully cooked holiday dinners, so check to see if any of your local markets are offering the service. You’ll save the shipping fees of popular mail-order sites by ordering ahead and picking up the dishes yourself.
And one more money-saving tip: You can cut the cost of a mail-order feast by just ordering the ready-cooked turkey and whipping up easy sides like mashed potatoes and green beans yourself. Ask someone else to bring the pie!
If you have a mail-order place you’ve tried and like, please write and let the rest of us know about it. There’s still time to order for Thanksgiving—and don’t forget Christmas and Hanukkah are only a month away!