The traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings will gobble up more of the family food budget this Thanksgiving, but it's still a bargain, a national survey says.
The American Farm Bureau Federation Saturday released its annual survey of 80 volunteer shoppers around the country and the consensus was Thanksgiving Day dinner will cost an average $2.89 per person, an increase of 42 cents compared with last year.The menu includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, peas, rolls, cranberries, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, a relish dish and beverages.
Marsha Purcell, AFBF spokeswoman, said an increase in the cost of turkey was the major factor in the higher price but added the holiday dinner is still a bargain for consumers.
"Consumers really save money on the Thanksgiving Day meal because so many ingredients are offered at special prices," Purcell said. "Stores sell products at less than normal prices as loss leaders to attract customers."
The national survey found a 16-pound turkey costs an average $13.37, and cooks can prepare enough stuffing for 10 people for as little as $1.76. The total average cost to feed 10 people comes to $28.85.
The national trend toward healthier eating has not been abandoned for the holiday. The survey found shoppers are buying more lighter-weight hen turkeys, which are now in short supply.
Dr. Hugh Johnson, a commodity specialist with the Farm Bureau, said the turkey market this season is unusual.
Although there is an 8 percent increase in the turkey supply the average wholesale price is up to 6 cents per pound higher, he said.