Let's take a quick rundown of simple ways to plan a Thanksgiving dinner that won't blow up your budget. Buy Store-Brand Frozen TurkeyTurkey is usually about 40 percent of the cost of the meal. Save money by buying a store-brand frozen turkey (with a coupon) instead of a fresh bird. Shop EarlyBuy canned cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie filling and other canned goods the week before Thanksgiving when they typically are on sale. Buy Some Frozen FoodsLike canned goods, frozen ingredients can cost a lot less than fresh.