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Thanksgiving dinner costs increase up to 14 percent, according to survey. WBTV Anchor Abby Theodros compares prices in Charlotte

Sticker Shock: With supply chain issues and inflation at a 31 year high, preparing for the holiday will come with a price hike for many
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 8:07 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Next week, many of us will gather for a Thanksgiving meal with friends and family.

However, with supply chain issues and inflation at a 31 year high, preparing for the holiday will come with a price hike for many.

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that it will cost $53.31 for Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 10 which is a 14 percent increase from last year for the turkey and trimmings.

There isn’t a shortage of turkeys this year, but they will cost more.

The American Farm Bureau survey shows the cost of a turkey alone is up 24 percent, or $4.60, from last year.

WBTV’s Abby Theodros sought out deals at Charlotte area grocery stores and found that Harris Teeter offered rewards members $.29/lb. for a frozen whole turkey with any $40 purchase. A turkey with an average weight of 18 pounds would cost about $5.22. Food Lion is offering a similar deal to rewards members. Customers who spend $35 can buy turkey at $.29/lb.

Shopper Mesean Weathers said it is not just the turkey she’s worried about. The cost of groceries are up.

“I’m concerned about the meal and I’m concerned about whether we are going to have enough and whether we’ll be able to afford it,” Weathers said.

The American Farm Bureau reported that dinner rolls are up $0.39 cents. Theodros paid $3.00 with her rewards card.

Sweet potatoes will cost an average of $0.12 cents more this year at an average of $3.56 for three pounds. Theodros paid $3.00 for the same amount.

“I’ve been hearing the prices are going up so I’ve been a little more conscious when spending,” shopper Liz Seegers said.

Disruptions to the U.S. economy are to blame.

“This is the elephant in the room, inflation in the U.S. economy is adding to the cost of all products,” said American Farm Bureau Senior Economist Veronica Nigh.

Despite rising costs, nutritionist and founder of the food blog ‘Frugal Nutrition’ Caitlin self outlines ways to save while maintaining the integrity of a traditional Thanksgiving spread.

“Plan ahead, make a list, and make a menu,” Self said.

According to Self, when you walk in to the grocery store with a plan, the more likely you are to save. She also touched on deals similar to Theodros’ experience purchasing a frozen turkey.

“Despite the rise in cost, many of the most popular Thanksgiving meal items go on sale this time of year, so you may want to shop around a little bit,” Self said.

Theodros also bought a box of stuffing for $2.00 compared to the national average of $2.29.

Self also said to buy fresh vegetables instead of pre-cut produce, and to make homemade sides when you can.

“I know that takes more time but they usually taste amazing,” Self said.

Theodros took Self’s advice, but added items like macaroni and cheese, and took off other items.

Her total came out to $46.00, about $7.00 cheaper than the national average.

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