Thanksgiving shoppers search for bargains

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's nearly time to dig in.

Thanksgiving Day and its feasts are three days away, and the grocery industry is enjoying its busiest week of the year.

Last-minute shoppers can still save money while they prepare their meals.

1,600 turkeys...That is the number of holiday birds managers at the Hy-Vee, located at 95th and Antioch, said they have sold during the past week. Last-minute customers are still filling their baskets with Thanksgiving items, and looking to save a buck or two in the process.

Hy-Vee Store Manager Brandon Euler said this is the busiest week of the year for his store at 95th and Antioch.

But that doesn't stop Euler's customers from bargain shopping. He's spent two decades in the grocery business, and he said no occasion fills a shopping cart the way Thanksgiving does.

"This time of year, people are more willing to spend an extra dollar," Euler said. "They're out there shopping a little earlier than they were before."

His advice to smart shoppers is to be observant while going to the supermarket. Grocers always put more affordable items on displays within walkways.

Euler said if you're willing to keep your menu simple, and steer clear of too many extras, you can save money on your turkey day preparations.

"If you're not that much worried about the brand, there are more economic opportunties out there," Euler said.

Euler also advised not to pass up store advertisements. These fliers are not just of items the store wants to push on customers. He said many customers miss out on these deals.

Customers such as Christina Monroe take advantage of those offers, and even though the shopping is last minute, she believes she can keep costs low.

"I know I can get a deal like the ham and a turkey free," Monroe said, while using a store coupon. "Bargain shopping does it for me."

"My advice is to plan ahead," Monroe added. "Even though you know it's probably going to be last minutes, always plan ahead."

Euler says he's thankful for a reassuring sign that the economy is improving. He estimates he average grcoery bill this week has been around $200, which shows that while customers want to save money, his cash registers aren't paying the price.

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