Thanksgiving might be the most sensibly scheduled holiday all year. Right before the holiday shopping hype kicks up, we get a day off work to relax with our families and reflect on the things we’re truly grateful for.

And, OK, it’s one of the few holidays that encourages feasting like there’s no tomorrow. Perhaps that explains why it can be so expensive to put Thanksgiving food on the table. Follow these tips and you won’t have to spend an arm and a turkey leg to enjoy the holiday with your family.

Thanksgiving is a battleground for competing grocery stores. They’re all trying to offer the best prices, so you’d be remiss not to do some homework before heading out to shop. Here’s a brief tutorial on how to get the best deals by comparing prices and clipping coupons.

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you should have received this week’s coupons in Sunday’s paper, and the grocery circulars in Wednesday’s paper. You also can pick up copies at The Post and Courier for $1.

Most advertised prices in the grocery circulars are effective through Nov. 26. While you may be able to find new Thanksgiving deals Wednesday, I’d suggest knocking out your shopping before then.

Look at your ingredients lists, make a master grocery list, and then go through Sunday’s coupons. Clip the ones you need, and keep them handy.

The next step can be tedious, but think of it like a game and it won’t be so bad. Rake through the grocery ads to find stores with sales on items you have coupons for. For example, in Sunday’s insert, there was a coupon for $1 off Mrs. Smith’s pies and 75 cents off Edwards pies. Both of those brands are 50 percent off at Publix this week. With the sale and coupons, you could save $3-$5 on each pie.

Other coupons aimed at Thanksgiving shoppers in Sunday’s inserts:

$1 off Smithfield Spiral-Sliced Ham.

55 cents off Wright Brand sausage patties, links and rolls.

75 cents off Nestle Toll House Morsels.

50-60 cents off Lipton Soup or Recipe Secrets.

$3-$5 off ham or turkey breasts at Honey Baked.

Look for these grocery deals:

Frozen Butterball turkey for 99 cents per pound at Bi-Lo.

Eight-pound bag of potatoes for $2.99 at Bi-Lo.

Buy one Campbell’s cream soup, get one free at Harris Teeter.

Buy one Kraft block of cheese or Sargento shredded cheese, get one free at Publix.

Jimmy Dean roll of sausage for $2.99 at Food Lion.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.