3 ways to do Thanksgiving on a budget as a University of Michigan student

ANN ARBOR, MI – Are you a University of Michigan student staying in Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving? Wallet a little tight?

Yes, Ann Arbor can be an expensive place for food. Buying enough supplies for an entire Turkey Day meal can be pretty intimidating on a student budget.

However, there are options for the Thanksgiving holiday that do not have to break the bank. Restaurants and markets near Central Campus have some selections ranging from cheap or free meals, affordable hunks of meat and alternative ways to get that turkey fix.

Here are three examples.

Matthew Zatirka, right, and Nick Machcinski, left, are two of the chefs working in Mosher Jordan Dining Hall. Zatirka has worked at UM since 2016, while Machcisnki has worked there for nine years.Sam Dodge | MLive.com

Mosher Jordan Dining Hall

Hundreds of international students and others staying at home can always get a cooked meal on the cheap from UM Dining.

The annual Thanksgiving meal is served at Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall’s cafeteria on 200 Observatory St. The full menu, found here, has the classic roast turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing with gravy and cranberry sauce. There are also gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options beyond the traditional selections, as well as pumpkin, Dutch apple and pecan pies..

The dinner will go from 11:30 am to 2 pm on Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 24. Those without a meal plan may purchase an all-you-can-eat dinner with Blue Bucks for $12.79 or a credit card for $15.51 (plus any applicable taxes).

University buses can take and pick up students to and from Mosher-Jordan Hall, better known as MoJo. The transportation schedule can be found here.

Read more: Gobble, gobble! Here’s the Thanksgiving menu for University of Michigan students staying in dorms

Original Cottage Inn

The Original Cottage Inn, located at 512 E William St. on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.ANN ARBOR NEWS

Original Cottage Inn

The pizza restaurant at 512 E. William St. has provided free meals to those in need for more than 50 years.

The Thanksgiving day meal, which focuses on “the GIVING” of the holiday according to the restaurant, goes from 11 am to 1 pm on Nov. 24.

Anyone looking to help provide Thanksgiving meals for those in need may donate to the Original Cottage Inn Venmo account @cottageinn. All proceeds will go to the cost of food, or additional funds will be donated to the Food Gatherers food bank.

Produce Station

The Produce Station located at 1629 S State St. in Ann Arbor.AnnArbor.com

Produce Station

While a bit of a walk from Central Campus, Produce Station at 1629 S. State St. has a menu you can mix and match for affordability.

Roasted turkey breasts are available for $14 a pound with a recommended serving size of a half-pound per person. For some vegetarian options, you can get a dish of butternut squash ravioli or a smoked tempeh cassoulet (stew) for $15 per person.

Side dishes such as butternut squash, charred kale, mashed yukon gold potatoes, ginger whipped sweet potatoes, bread stuffing and sweet corn pudding each go for $9 to $10 per pound. A pint of orange cranberry sauce costs $6.

If you are in a party of six to eight people, you can divide the “Traditional Thanksgiving Feast” package for $185, or $23 to $30 per person depending on the size of the party. The package includes four pounds of cooked turkey in slices with a pint of gravy, three pounds each of bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and mushrooms and green beans, 1 bowl of walnut and cranberry salad and eight homemade rolls.

Read more from The Ann Arbor News:

More ‘chonky’ squirrels are showing up everywhere at the University of Michigan

10 remnants of the University of Michigan’s ‘lost campus’

Former Eastern Michigan football player leads 1K Thanksgiving meal donations

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