Every food magazine and website bends over backward to do something different for Thanksgiving each year. Usually it’s by adding expensive ingredients. And CHOW is no exception: We’ve confited turkey legs in duck fat, fancied up stuffing with pancetta and chestnuts, and advocated for heirloom pumpkins in pumpkin pie. Don’t get us wrong—we love those recipes, and pancetta is freaking delicious. But what happens when, oh, let’s see, we’re in a recession, and money’s tight, and you still want something delicious? Simple: Cut the food bling and make our classic Thanksgiving feast for eight for about a hundred bucks. Here’s a dish-by-dish guide. We’ve calculated our costs based on the highest nonsale prices we could find at Safeway in San Francisco, so if you’re a bargain shopper, you might even come in under $100 for your whole meal.
FIRST UP: Turkey and Gravy

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