Thanksgiving dinner prices rise, but not as much as expected

ANDERSON, Ind. — Thanksgiving dinner this year may not be as costly as some consumers are bracing for, but wallets still stand to take a hit when it comes to paying for all the fixings.

Consumers can expect to spend about 12% more at the grocery store than last year, with an average individual meal coming in at about $5.33, according to an annual survey by Indiana Farm Bureau.

“There is no question that this has been a tough year,” said Isabella Chism, second vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau. “Still, if you’re ... going to the store to get ready, those prices aren’t up as much as I thought they would be. You’re still feeding a family of 10 for under $6 a person.”

The average price of a whole turkey checks in near $1.58 per pound, or $25.22 for a 16-pound bird, according to the survey.

Other meal trimmings tracked by the survey — sweet potatoes, whole milk, whipping cream and peas — came in less than the national average, while three meal components — the turkey, stuffing and pie shells — exceeded the expected national average price.

Chism said the survey, taken in late October, is a valid forecast for consumer retail food purchases throughout the holiday season, so Christmas dinner ingredients should be available at similar prices.

“I don’t see a huge change in any of the numbers,” she said. “If we as consumers are smart about our shopping and take time to look around, we can get some lower prices. We just have to take the time to look.”

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