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Thanksgiving meal costs go up this year

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Posted at 11:46 AM, Nov 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-25 14:32:34-05

Thanksgiving is a little more expensive this year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation released the results of its 29th price survey on the cost of Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. The overall cost of a Thanksgiving meal that feeds 10 went up to $49.41 from $49.04 last year.

“That’s fairly stable price on our survey,” said John Anderson, Farm Bureau Deputy Chief Economist.

One gobble of relief was the price of turkey, which was expected to go up due to reduced supply. Instead, a 16-pound frozen turkey costs $21.65 on average, 11 cents less than in 2013.

Anderson said retailers ate most of the wholesale cost to get people into the stores.

“Thanksgiving is their Super Bowl and World Series rolled into one. Turkey is a big deal at Thanksgiving, it gets people into the grocery store so they want good deals,” Anderson said.

A decrease in energy costs likely helped keep prices down. The average gas price dropped 10 percent from last November to $2.89, according to the American Automobile Association.

Because of production and shipping costs, that’s a decent chunk of the sweet potato pie.

To conduct the annual survey, The Farm Bureau sends 179 volunteer shoppers to grocery stores in 35 states. Their mission: to find the best deal possible.

The survey includes other staples such as stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries and pumpkin pie with a cup of coffee. It does not take into account more recent trends in buying fresh, organic or local products.

But no matter how you take your turkey or how much is costs, there’s no replacement for the joy of fighting over the last leg with family.

Here's how long it'll take to work off all those calories, food coma not included:

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on twitter at @GavinStern or email him at gavin.stern@scripps.com.