Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Up 1%

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WASHINGTON—There just might be one more reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving—the cost to feed a family of 10 a classic home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner only went up about 1% this year compared to a giblet-grabbing 13% last year, according to results of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 26th annual survey.

The AFBF survey shopping list included turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty of leftovers.

The average cost of this year’s feast, including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings, is $49.48—up 29 cents from 2011. The cost of eight items decreased, three increased and one was unchanged, according to the 12-item survey, which has been conducted annually since 1986. The cost of a 16-pound turkey, at $22.23, was the big ticket item, jumping 4 cents per pound to $1.39 per pound compared to 2011.

“A slight increase in demand for turkey is responsible for the moderate price increase. Anyone with the patience to wait until the last minute to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving could be rewarded with an exceptional bargain," said John Anderson, AFBF deputy chief economist

Items showing lower prices this year included a ½ pint of whipping cream at $1.83, down 13 cents; a 14-oz package of cube stuffing at 2.77, down 11 cents; 3 pounds of sweet potatoes at $3.15, down 11 cents; 1 gallon of whole milk at $3.59, down 7 cents; 12 ounces of fresh cranberries at $2.45, down 3 cents; 1 pound of green peas at $1.66, down 2 cents; a 30-ounce package of pumpkin pie mix at $3.02, down 1 cent; and two pie shells at $2.51, down 1 cent. The price for carrots and celery for a 1-pound relish tray was unchanged at 76 cents.

In addition to turkey, other dinner items showing higher prices this year were miscellaneous ingredients, up 8 cents to $3.18 in 2012, and 1 dozen rolls, up 3 cents at $2.33.

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