Be prepared for a bigger bill at the grocery store for Thanksgiving this year

Hoosiers should be prepared for a bigger bill for their Thanksgiving meal at the grocery store this year. According to Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual Thanksgiving market basket survey, the average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 this year, including 12 traditional food items, is $50.88. That’s about 9 percent more than Hoosiers paid last year.

thanksgiving_2017_market_basketThe INFB Thanksgiving market basket survey was conducted by 37 volunteer shoppers in Indiana who collected prices on specific food items from one of their local grocery stores. Volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

The market basket price of $50.88 includes a 16-pound turkey, the ingredients for stuffing and a pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, rolls, peas, a carrot and celery veggie tray, whole milk, cranberries and miscellaneous baking items such as eggs, sugar and butter. 

While some items on the holiday shopping list are looking to be more affordable this year, the main factor in the overall price increase was the 16-pound turkey, being the most expensive item on the list, which is averaging about $3 more this year. Stuffing, pumpkin pie filling and the veggie tray will also cost you a bit more this year.

Despite the modest increase in Indiana, consumers continue to see affordable prices for turkey this year, due to its large inventory across the country. Indiana has a lot to do with that, since our state ranks fourth in the nation in turkey production. Turkeys also consume about 15 percent of all soybean meal fed to livestock in Indiana, so they’re great for our state’s economy.

INFB’s survey is part of a national survey coordinated annually by the American Farm Bureau Federation. A total of 141 volunteer shoppers in 39 states participated this year. While Indiana’s average meal price increased this year, the national average meal cost decreased.

Shoppers with an eye for bargains in all areas of the country should be able to purchase individual menu items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages. Another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook, such as the many farmers still completing this year’s harvest, is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, which are available at many supermarkets.