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Alabamians seeing less sticker shock while grocery shopping this Thanksgiving


Alabamians will see some relief in grocery prices for Thanksgiving this year, but not by much.

Findings from the American Farm Bureau Federation’ 38th annual Thanksgiving dinner survey show the average cost of a holiday dinner for ten people will run $61.17, or approximately $6.12 per guest. That’s down from the record high recording in 2022 of $64.05 for the spread.

Courtesy: American Farm Bureau Federation

AFBF data shows pumpkin pie mix, sweet potatoes and dinner rolls are pricier on average nationwide compared to last year, but whipping cream and fresh cranberries are cheaper.

Here’s a rundown of the average cost of popular Thanksgiving staples, according to AFBF:
· 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
· 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
· Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
· 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
· 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
· Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
· 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
· 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
· 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
· 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
· 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)

Courtesy: American Farm Bureau Federation

Dr. Shawn Mobbs is the Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at The Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama. He said the price of turkey is also less expensive this time around.

“Last year about this time, there was a shortage of turkeys because of a wave of avian flu that swept through a lot of turkey farms. Because of the reduced supply, the price of turkey, which is sort of the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, was quite high last year. So, relative to that, the price of turkey is going to be down.”

The AFBF lists the average cost of a 16-pound frozen whole turkey at $27.35. The price for the same amount in 2022 was $28.96.

Courtesy: American Farm Bureau Federation

Some Alabamians will celebrate Thanksgiving with a big meal, but there are those in the state who struggle every day to put food on the table. Data from the national nonprofit Feeding America shows about 15% of the Yellowhammer State’s population faces food insecurity. For perspective, that’s close to 750,000 Alabamians, including over 200,000 children, who are dealing with this issue.

Food insecurity is considered to be an economic condition. This means it’s driven primarily by lack of money and low accessibility to other critical resources. People dealing with poverty, low income or unemployment are often affected. Experts say this can be a temporary situation for a family, or the issue can last a long time.

Mobbs said the best thing to do is to plan ahead and cut costs accordingly for those on a tight budget this holiday season.

Courtesy: American Farm Bureau Federation

“If it's the meal and getting the family together is the big thing you want to continue, even if the costs have gone up of doing so… Later in the holidays, when the Christmas season rolls around and buying presents and gifts, maybe spend a little bit if you want to continue to maintain the traditions of getting the family around a big table and eating and eating a big meal for Thanksgiving.”

The Alabama Retail Association predicts Alabamians to spend close to $18.75B this holiday season. That’s up 4% of 2022’s $18B record spending.

Baillee Majors is the Morning Edition host and a reporter at Alabama Public Radio.
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