Thanksgiving dinner will be slightly more expensive this year thanks to an increase in the price of a turkey, according to an annual price survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
"Birds are a little higher, about a dime per pound higher than what we have seen in the past," said Bucky Lee, manager of the Marietta Food 4 Less.
However, most of the other Thanksgiving staples, such as potatoes, stuffing and gravy are consistent with last year's prices, meaning the overall rise in cost is not very significant, he added.
JASMINE ROGERS The Marietta Times
Food 4 Less manager Bucky Lee stocks Butterball turkeys at the store Monday. The rising cost of turkeys has contributed to an overall rise in the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner this year. However, the steady and even lowered cost of other Thanksgiving staples has helped to keep that cost increase minimal
Lowell resident Alyce Welsch, 72, also anticipates the price going up. She feeds around 14 family members throughout the day.
"I know everything is going to be more expensive cause prices are always going up," she said.
Despite the rising costs, nothing will be left out of her traditional Thanksgiving menu, said Welsch, who has already begun shopping for and preparing food for the big day.
"We do the same thing every year," she said.
For the AFBF survey, 155 volunteer shoppers are given a shopping list, sufficient to feed a family of 10, and asked to hunt for the best deal without using coupons or special promotions. The shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk.
Survey participants found the biggest increase this year was reflected in the price of a 16-pound turkey, which at $22.23 has risen 66 cents from last year. However, a lowered cost of items such as the cream, stuffing and potatoes, has meant the overall cost has only risen 28 cents from last year. According to the AFBF, a budget conscious family should be able to feed a party of 10 this year for $49.48.
At less than $5 a person, that price seems overly optimistic to some local shoppers.
"I would like to see how they do it on $50," said Lowell resident Juanita Crum.
Because her children are grown, Crum does not plan on having a big Thanksgiving meal next week. However, Crum's mother will host a meal on Saturday for about 75 family members. To keep the cost down, the meal is a potluck, with each person bringing their best dish, said Crum.
However, the survey pricing seems attainable to 60-year-old Waterford resident Alta Coffman, who has a long repertoire of Thanksgiving dinners under her belt.
"I think it is realistic, but I am a very frugal shopper. I will watch for the best buys," said Coffman.
Coffman's husband, Ralph Coffman Jr., is president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, and said he has seen the costs rise from a production standpoint.
"From the manufacturing side, the feed costs have really gone up. The fuel costs have really gone up," said Ralph.
Though the overall cost has only marginally increased over the past year, the same survey has showed significant jumps in years past. Just two years ago, the average price was $6.01 cheaper.
However, many say they are willing to sacrifice cost to keep their family traditions alive.
"I don't think people care (about cost). It's all about family and memories," said Crum.