With turkey prices on the rise, how much more will Thanksgiving dinner cost families this year?


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Grocery stores will be extra busy this weekend as Thanksgiving is fast approaching, but if you’re on a budget, prepare to make some adjustments.

You will be paying more for the turkey, and if you like to make things from scratch, you will be paying more for flour, sugar, eggs, potatoes and milk. Vegetable prices are also up this year.

To add it all up, a family of 10 will pay a bit more than $53 this year, that’s $6 more than last year according to the Farm Bureau.

“We are heading toward turkey day and that is the meat that really hits center stage,” said livestock economist Dr. David Anderson with Texas A&M’s AgriLife extension service. “Production is down 4-5% from last year and wholesale prices are up about 18%.”

Anderson said you will most likely be able to find a turkey, but it might not be the size or brand you want.

“So if there is something you want or that you like, that is your preferred brand or size or even fresh versus frozen, that is where you might want to be more flexible or shop early,” Anderson said.

The rising prices could also have an impact on groups looking to provide a turkey dinner to people in need.

“We have had a lot of our organizations reach out to us directly or in coordination phone calls to talk about the fears they have about people going without Thanksgiving this year,” said Lisa Barden, executive director of Keep Austin Fed.

Keep Austin Fed is one of the many local nonprofits working to stop food insecurity. By working with their partner organizations, they keep food on the table for many. However, they are concerned this holiday season.

“They are getting a little more panicked about is there going to be food coming in during the holidays or how are they going to pull off their congregate Thanksgiving meals,” Barden said.

Keep Austin Fed says they collected about 805,000 pounds of food in 2019. This year they have increased the number of food runs by about 100 per month, but total volume is down to about 680,000 pounds.

“With rising food prices it is going to hit our food banks and food pantries particularly hard,” Anderson said.

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