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Turkey Costs High This Year, But Overall Thanksgiving Dinner Inflation Below Average


How much can shoppers expect to spend on the traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year?

Purdue University agricultural economist Corrine Alexander says overall, there has been a less-than-one percent increase in grocery prices over last year. She attributes the slight increase to ample grain inventories and an expansion in livestock production.

“Overall, when we take a look at overall food price inflation, typically we expect to see the normal food price inflation, which is about 2.5-percent per year at grocery store prices and this year, we’re running well below that,” Alexander says.

But that turkey is another story – it’ll likely cost 15- to 20-percent more than last year. The price increase is the result of the avian influenza outbreak that affected turkey flocks earlier this year.

But she says there may be ways to trim the cost of the turkey before you trim the bird itself.

“Grocery stores, they often price turkey as a loss leader,” Alexander says. “They put them on special, so maybe you see a special saying, ‘Spend this amount of money at the grocery store and then you’re going to get a coupon for a turkey,’ for either a very inexpensive cost or even for free.”