Thanksgiving food prices up over last year

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Some classic staples of a Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, ham, cranberries and sweet potatoes, are seeing prices rise for this year’s holiday.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost for Thanksgiving dinner is $68.72 compared to $60.11 in 2020. Turkey prices are up as well. In 2020 a 16-pound turkey cost $19.39. In 2021 the national average price is $23.99.

Other items like ham, green beans and pie shells are up. But a local grocery store manager says that he hasn’t noticed customers too concerned with the price.

“The customers generally don’t ask or say much about the pricing. They just come in get what they need and get out,” said Kurt Crist, a grocery manager at Fareway. “When it comes to the holiday time, we focus on the items that the customers going to be needing to make sure that the price is right to make sure they are getting an affordable meal for their holiday get together.”

Having items in stock has not been a problem for most grocery stores in the Midwest. But people came in early to shop for their dinners anyway.

“There were definitely people here that were saying they were buying boxed stuffing and canned cranberries to buy ahead to avoid a shortage based on what they were hearing,” said Crist.

With Thanksgiving meal prices going up, there are ways for consumers to cut costs or get discounts. It is just a matter of finding the right price.

“Our turkey promotion, you spend $50 in fresh meat, you get a free turkey up to 14 pounds,” Crist said. “So the turkey is absolutely free and you might as well fill the freezer with meat that you can use later on.”

Crist also added that they were lucky to be in the Midwest as all produce and meat suppliers they order from are really close, which gives the store the ability to have fresh items.

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