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Cooking up Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving dinner is coming and there are several options when it comes to finding the right grocery store

Mack and Gloria McClellan look over turkey breasts and cornish hens at Smith’s grocery store in Kingman. The store will be a madhouse in the days before Thanksgiving.

Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.

Mack and Gloria McClellan look over turkey breasts and cornish hens at Smith’s grocery store in Kingman. The store will be a madhouse in the days before Thanksgiving.

The onslaught known as the holiday season starts with grocery shopping for Thanksgiving Day, with the average Arizonan expected to spend about $40 for a meal that serves 10 at home this year, according to the Arizona Farm Bureau.

Any help is appreciated in preparing for the extravagant feast, and that could come in the way of Smith’s ClickList, an online grocery ordering service offering 40,000 items for curbside pickup.

ClickList is now available at Smith’s at 3490 Stockton Hill Road, along with the Smith’s in Lake Havasu City. The store parking lot has four spaces designated for pickup.

“The advantage of that is you don’t want to fight the crowd two days before Thanksgiving,” said Abdul El-Awik, store manager of Smith’s in Kingman. “This place will be a madhouse.”

Smith’s is getting a dozen to 20 online orders a day since launching ClickList nearly two weeks ago, and El-Awik expects that number to triple by Thanksgiving. He wants to see 50 to 100 online orders a day.

“I think the future for this is going to be huge,” the manager said.

The first three ClickList transactions are free, with a $4.95 charge for subsequent transactions and an additional $11.95 charge if you want the groceries delivered to your home (area restrictions apply).

The response from customers has been very positive, El-Awik said.

“The cool thing about it is you could order from home and finalize everything you want from home,” he said. “Especially when it comes to meat and produce, we pick the best.”

Smith’s has 12 associates with extensive training in selecting products for ClickList orders, and if they’re out of a store brand item, they’ll replace it with the highest brand at the same price, the manager added.

Meal plan

photo

Abdul El-Awik, manager for Smith’s grocery story in Kingman, shows a crate of food ordered online through the company’s new ClickList service.

All good Thanksgiving meals start with a good game plan, and putting together a complete list of grocery items is crucial, said Nancy Keane, spokeswoman with Safeway’s regional office in Phoenix.

The basic Thanksgiving grocery shopping list would include turkey, ham, russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, white bread and plenty of flour for homemade pies.

Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to feature turkey or ham. Keane likes to make French meat pie, a combination of pork, beef and onion, from a family recipe handed down from her great-grandparents in Montreal.

“My grandmother and my mother both made this pie around Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said. “Needless to say, it has a lot of wonderful family memories for my sisters and family. It’s nice to keep family traditions alive.”

Nobody’s going to forget the turkey. Safeway, with stores at 3125 Stockton Hill Road and 3970 Stockton Hill Road, is offering its USDA Grade-A Signature Farms frozen turkey at 99 cents a pound, and will match any price from Smith’s or Basha’s.

Without factoring in store coupons and specials, the cost for a 16-pound turkey in Arizona this year is $14.24, or 89 cents a pound, according to the Arizona Farm Bureau. That’s a decrease of $5.44 from last year.

Frozen and fresh whole turkey markets are steady, with supply up just a bit, said Julie Murphree, outreach director of Arizona Farm Bureau.

Smith’s is selling its Private Selection turkey at 79 cents a pound with a store card and $20 additional purchase.

If you want to skip the cooking, Smith’s deli department offers a complete turkey dinner that feeds a family of six for $49.99. It includes a 10- to 12-pound turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, orange relish and a dozen rolls.

Mack and Gloria McClellan of Golden Valley were looking at a something small for Thanksgiving, perhaps a cornish hen or turkey breast for $9.99. It’s just the two of them.

“No matter what we get, it’s always too much for us,” Mack said.

So far, Smith’s is the only store offering online grocery shopping in Kingman. Both Basha’s and Safeway offer the service, though it’s not yet available at local stores.

“We know today’s customers are continuously looking for ways to increase their productivity, yet simplify their lives,” said Aubriana Martindale, manager of public affairs for Smith’s.

“We are certain this online shopping service will offer busy families, seniors, people with disabilities and other shoppers an easier and more convenient way to grocery shop.”