The cost of Thanksgiving dinner is holding steady

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Many of you may have already bought your items for your Thanksgiving meal. Many have not. Cost wise, the feast forecast has not really gone up much.

The American Farm Bureau says the price of this year's Thanksgiving dinner may be up a little bit. But in Region 8, it may not necessarily be true so I did a little comparison shopping.

With a list of 12 items to make a meal for 10 that the Farm Bureau provided.  I visited Kroger, Walmart and Bill's Fresh Market.

Bill's Manager Wally Orr told me that the big buying rush hadn't started yet.

"It started up Saturday and Sunday. We really expect to get kicked up this afternoon and tomorrow and go through Wednesday real hard."

Orr said he really hasn't seen much of a change in prices. Turkeys might have gone up a little.

"Couple of pennies a pound but for the most part everything's staying the same this year vs. last year. I guess the manufacturers are just keeping the prices low on it to get through the holidays."

When you get ready for Thanksgiving dinner  the first thing you are going to have to have is a main course. And for most people that means turkey.

Average price between the 3 stores for a private label brand turkey is .57 cents a pound. Why choose a private label?

Orr said a private label on a turkey means the bird is just as good as a big name brand. The cost savings however, can be great.

"You can save up to a dollar a pound with a Best Choice label."

Every store had a private label for most of our dinner foods. And by looking for the private label brands you can really save .

The list included, a 16 pound turkey, a bag of stuffing, a gallon of whole milk, 1/2 pint of cream, a dozen rolls, a relish tray, 14 ounces of cranberries and 3 pounds of sweet potatoes and a pound of peas and either a pre-made  pumpkin pie or the ingredients to make a couple.

And convenience is also a factor. Do I want to cook or have someone else do it for me?

For instance, pumpkin pie ingredients will cost you about 10 bucks. An already made 10 inch pie will run you about 7 or 8 depending on the store.

The average cost for the meal between the 3 stores came out to be about $40.39 cents well below the national average which is $43.27 and about middle for the state which ranged from $32 dollars up to $51 dollars.

Course what you spend may depend on any extras you want to buy for your family. But whatever you spend. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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