An Inflated Turkey

11/21/2022

This year the turkey balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will not be the only turkey that is inflated.

Grocery bills for Thanksgiving dinner around the country are expected to be up 20% from last year, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau. A 16-pound turkey, the centerpiece of the typical Thanksgiving day feast, is expected to cost Americans $28.96 on average, up 21% versus 2021. Below is a list of several other common dinner items for those doing the shopping for Thanksgiving or the increasingly popular “friends-giving” sometime this week.

14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $3.88 (up 69%)
2 frozen pie crusts: $3.68 (up 26%)
Half pint of whipping cream: $2.24 (up 26%)
1 pound of frozen peas: $1.90 (up 23%)
1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.73 (up 22%)
Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $4.13 (up 20%)
30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.28 (up 18%)
1 gallon of whole milk: $3.84 (up 16%)
3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.96 (up 11%)
1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): 88 cents (up 8%)
12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.57 (down 14%)

In addition to the cost of preparing this year’s traditional Thanksgiving feast, those of us who are traveling may feel the sting of the highest average gas prices ever during Thanksgiving at $3.68 a gallon. The next highest was in back in 2012 at $3.44 per gallon.

Rising prices are not exactly the positive message you want around Thanksgiving, but here are a few of the many things we can remain thankful for. The first is that it seems for the bargain hunters among us, there are deals available to offset some of this year’s price increases. A colleague of ours was able to purchase a 16-pound Butterball turkey at Ingles for $7.20 after a discount applied for bills totaling $35 or more, which comes out to only $0.45 per pound.

Additionally, the World Cup has officially kicked off, with the US participating for the first time in 8 years. I am thankful that we have a chance to watch the US team play in this high-profile and prestigious global sporting event. Perhaps not as thankful as Welsh fans, however. The last time their team qualified for the World Cup was 64 years ago!

On the financial side, there are many who are thankful that there is now a yield on cash savings, and it appears inflation has begun to slow. There remains hope that next year’s Thanksgiving dinner may not cost us 20% more than it does this year. The cost-of-living adjustment for social security is expected to increase payments by 10%+ next year. Also increasing are both tax brackets and the standard deduction.

There is always plenty to be thankful for! We hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving.

Corey Erdoes