Last updated: February 19. 2013 2:21PM - 546 Views

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It seems a little early to be thinking about Turkey Day, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner and earning rewards towards a discounted or free turkey takes some planning.

Each store offers a different way to earn rewards, which can get confusing. Although the offers vary at each store, the store goals are all the same, to encourage store loyalty of shoppers prior to the holiday season. And that is exactly what you need to do, choose one store to shop at for the next four weeks.

There are typically three ways to earn rewards towards your turkey. The first is to collect points by buying participating items.

Giant Food Stores is offering a free turkey with 400 rewards points or Gas Extra Gas Rewards. Reward points are earned for purchasing a number of select products listed in the weekly circular.

For example, the ad may request to buy six of the items listed to earn 300 points, which add up quickly. Points can be tracked online or at the bottom of your receipt and once the account reaches 400 points, a free turkey certificate will print at the register.

The free turkey certificates can be redeemed Nov. 11 through 24. The advantage of shopping at Giant during this promotion is that they sometimes offer rewards on items purchased rather than the amount of money spent in each transaction. Since there are ways to earn rewards by purchasing a number of products rather than by spending a certain amount, you should check for coupons on products listed in each promotion and buy items that have a long shelf life.

ShopRite also has a special Thanksgiving offer. Spend $400 from Sunday, Oct. 14 through Thursday, Nov. 22 to qualify to get a free turkey, ham, turkey breast, kosher chicken, lasagna or Tofurky. The registers will automatically keep a running total of the purchases when using your Price Plus club card. Pick up the free item of choice through Nov. 22.

ShurSave Markets are offering a similar promotion but you earn vouchers towards turkey rewards. Spend between $350 to $499.99 and receive a $10 certificate. Spend between $500 to $599.99 and receive a $15 certificate. Spend $600 or more and receive a $25 certificate. Purchasing must be made between Sept. 30 and Nov. 10 and must be redeemed between Nov. 11 and 22. Certificates will be printed on receipt.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when saving for these Thanksgiving rewards. The most important is to pick one store to shop towards the reward until you reach the freebie.

Also, try to purchase items that can be stored or larger items like cleaning supplies, brooms, baking pans or even toys at these stores as a way to earn rewards.

Finally, make sure that you read the fine print and know the store's coupon policy before planning your shopping trip.

What are your money saving tips for getting a Thanksgiving reward? Share them with us at facebook.com/golackawanna.

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