Cumberland Times-News

November 23, 2013

Feast for less

Farming group notes slight decrease in cost of turkey dinner

Cumberland Times-News

— Among the things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is a decrease in the cost of putting a turkey dinner on the table.

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 10 is 44 cents lower than last year. The farm bureau said it will cost $49.04 this year to prepare a meal of turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberries, peas and pumpkin pie. Last year, the same meal cost $49.48.

While a 1 percent decline in the cost is hardly a big deal, it is better than moving the other way. Also notable is the fact that the decline in cost is only the eighth drop in price in the 28 years the bureau has been surveying food costs.

The main reason for the price reduction is the cost of a turkey. The survey found the average cost for a 16-pound turkey came in at $21.76 this year, a drop of 47 cents from the $22.23 price in last year's survey. On a per-pound basis, the cost fell about 3 cents from $1.39 to $1.36 between 2012 and 2013.

Other items down in price this year: A dozen brown-and-serve rolls fell 15 cents, a pound of green peas dropped 12 cents, a 14-ounce package of cubed stuffing fell 10 cents, a 12-ounce serving of fresh cranberries dropped 3 cents and two nine-inch pie shells fell 2 cents.

Among items up in price this year, sweet potatoes saw the biggest increase. A three-pound helping of the orange tubers jumped 21 cents to $3.36 this year.

If consumers could only see a 1 percent decline in other goods it would be even more to be thankful for this holiday.