Christmas may still be six weeks away, but the race among supermarkets to get their turkey on the dinner table come December 25 has already begun.
Budget retailer Aldi has announced that it will be selling a premium turkey for Christmas that will provide "more bird for the buck" than its rivals.
The move comes as shoppers are feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy and may look to cheaper brands for their Christmas food.
Aldi's Roly Poly turkey will be priced at £35.99, which is 40% cheaper than the average cost of premium turkeys last year, according to Aldi.
It hopes to sell 170,000 of the birds this year, more than double the 70,000 standard turkeys customers bought from Aldi in 2011.
"It is going to be one of the best on the market," an Aldi spokesman said. "The birds have been kept on straw and cared for around the clock to make sure they are the best. We are expecting them to fly off the shelves."
Aldi said other retailers are "set to increase the cost of their turkeys by 10%" due to "record rises" in the price of wheat, soya and animal feed.
Yet rival supermarkets have dismissed that claim and put forward their own pitch for the Christmas dinner table. A Tesco spokesman said: "We'll be offering a range of quality Christmas turkeys to suit every family's budget." The free-range turkey in Tesco's Finest range is priced at £34.43 for a 5kg bird.
Sainsbury's similarly stressed that it has a range of turkeys on offer to "suit each budget". A Taste the Difference free-range turkey weighing 4.99kg costs £42.37.
Morrisons said its turkey prices will not be increasing this year and insisted it offers shoppers the "best possible value" by selling a wider variety of turkey sizes than Aldi. Its 4kg to 4.6kg bird is priced at £30.
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Flying start to turkey price war
This takes time, but once you know the cost of a phone call, putting the dryer on, or a bag of potatoes, it enables you to judge far better how much you can afford to consume.
Once you know the base price, you are in a position to keep your eyes open for a better offer. If you see a discount you can judge for yourself whether it actually constitutes a bargain. For bigger things like utilities it enables you to do a proper price comparison and see if you can cut your bills.
Don't just assume that the premium range is better, try the every-day brand, or even the basic version and see if you spot the difference. Likewise, consider trading down your supermarket from one of the big players to local markets or discounters like Aldi.
If you plan what you buy to match what you actually cook and eat then not only will you be able to budget far more effectively, but you'll also waste much less and find your money goes further without you having to try.
If you can't think of a way to get your meat for less, consider a vegetarian day once a week. If you can't find petrol any cheaper, then work on making your driving as efficient as possible. The more you can think of clever alternatives the less you will have to make painful cuts to make ends meet.