Thanksgiving turkey: 3 tips to cut costs before buying

(Fox News) - With Thanksgiving only weeks away and dinner plans already being made, Americans across the U.S. are gearing up for one of the most expensive meals of the year.

In 2017 alone, Americans spent an estimated $2.98 billion on Thanksgiving dinner food. While the sheer size of the dinner undoubtedly contributes to the high price, turkey ultimately comprises a large share of this cost, with nearly 50 percent of total cost of the average Thanksgiving dinner being spent on turkey alone.

So whether attending a potluck or hosting the dinner yourself, here are three things to keep in mind when buying your Thanksgiving turkey to maximize your savings:

1. Where you buy your turkey matters:

Though many consumers are aware that the price of a turkey varies significantly depending on the store where the turkey is bought, few consumers realize that the price of turkey varies significantly by region within the U.S. as well.