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The Art of the Free Thanksgiving Turkey - Shopping

The Art of the Free Thanksgiving Turkey - Shopping
From The Kitchn - November 6, 2017

For the first 31 years of my life, I thought turkeys were like toothbrushes, pens, and matchesjust things you got for free. Dentists hand out toothbrushes like they are candy (hehe!), hotels leave out pens for the taking, restaurants practically beg you to take matches on your way out the door, and turkeys, well, my mom had never paid a dime for any of our Thanksgiving turkeys.

It was not until a few years ago, through a conversation with some friends, that I realized that most people paid real cash money for their Thanksgiving birds. "What do you mean, you are buying a turkey?" I asked, as if I thought once you flipped the calendar to November, the universe just left you a turkey on your doorstep.

I called my mom to find out the deal and she told me she had not gotten a free bird in years, but that she used to have two key ways to get her poultry.

1. Through my dad's employer.

No, my dad does not work for a turkey farmer. He works in industrial manufacturing and has had at least a half-dozen jobs during my lifetime. And more than a third of those employers gave employees free turkeys. As if to say, "Thanks for coming to work, here's some meat."

2. Through a reward program at the supermarket.

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