turkey

Wholesale turkey prices currently are around $1.40 per pound in Tennessee.

Consumer costs on many items are increasing, and the price tag on this year’s Thanksgiving meal will be no exception.

The American Farm Bureau Federation predicts the cost of the Thanksgiving meal to increase by 5 percent compared to last year due to increased costs of gas, labor shortages including among truck drivers, shipping issues and increased direct costs experienced by farmers.

Andrew Griffith, an associate professor in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, said that some of the increase in prices, at least for turkeys, is due to declined hatchery output in June and July, a decline of turkey in cold storage and media reports of scarcity.

Wholesale turkey prices are currently just above $1.40 per pound and Griffith said he does not expect these to lower prior to Thanksgiving.

UT Extension’s Consumer Economics Leadership Team surveyed grocery stores across Tennessee from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1 to discover how much families could expect to spend for the holiday meal.

Rural and urban locations along with independently owned and big box stores were surveyed, with store brand prices used when available. Some grocers reported not having some items in stock or estimating that they may not be in stock at all before Thanksgiving.

The survey included items that are traditionally served at a Tennessee Thanksgiving meal, including turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, English pea salad, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and rolls. The leadership team also estimated that the Thanksgiving meal would feed 10 people.

The total cost of the complete meal for 10 was $111.78 with a per person cost of $11.18.

Shelly Barnes, a family and consumer sciences agent with UT Extension Wilson County, said, “This state-level information is important for consumers and business owners alike, and we are glad to be able to provide a resource like this to a vast range of clients during the holiday season.”

“Enjoying leftovers from a Thanksgiving meal is a great way to get the most benefit out of the money, time and effort spent,” said Ann A. Berry, professor and consumer economics specialist with UT Extension.

Kristen Johnson, assistant professor and Extension nutrition specialist, said that Thanksgiving leftovers provide an opportunity to think creatively, try new dishes or develop new holiday traditions. Leftover turkey, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and other vegetables can be used in soups, stews, sandwiches and casseroles. Leftover cranberries make a great topping for oatmeal, waffles or pancakes.

Recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers are available at snaped.fns.usda.gov.

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