Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner? If you haven’t started planning yet, you’re certainly not alone. Just last week, I had to Google to double-check which date the Thursday tradition falls on this year. As record numbers of travelers are expected by the TSA at airports, we know that this year, Thanksgiving will be bigger for many Americans. As Thanksgiving approaches, there’s good news for those planning to host a traditional turkey feast at home. The cost of the holiday centerpiece, the turkey, has seen a significant drop in prices this year, making home-cooked celebrations more budget-friendly.
According to Wells Fargo’s Thanksgiving food report, store prices for the 10-to-15-pound turkey have decreased by 13% in October compared to the same month last year. Additionally, the wholesale price for turkey experienced a dramatic 29% slump in October compared to a year ago. The drop in turkey prices can be attributed to supply and demand dynamics, with an abundance of turkeys available this year. You won’t see shortages like you did previously. Several factors contribute to these lower prices, including an increase in bird production, reduced input costs like refrigerated truck expenses, and more available transportation.
For consumers like us, this means even better turkey deals can be expected in November, especially during the two weeks before Thanksgiving when warehouse stores (hello, Costco!), discount, and grocery stores typically offer deep discounts on turkeys as loss leader items. These savings on turkeys come at a time when food price inflation is moderating, with grocery prices rising 2.4% this year through September, compared to an overall inflation rate of 3.7%.
However, while turkey prices are dropping, other components of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner may still see price increases. Items like the traditional fixings of canned cranberries, canned pumpkins, canned green beans, and russet potatoes could be pricier this year. Nevertheless, there’s good news for sweet potato lovers, as prices for this Thanksgiving favorite are expected to decrease as grocers compete for consumers’ dollars. The contrarian in me is eyeing non-traditional sides. In fact, we may even be serving our turkey with some Asian favorites.
For those looking to put a truly unique (and budget-friendly) twist on their Thanksgiving feast, DiGiorno has introduced a limited edition Thanksgiving Pizza that combines turkey, sides, and pizza into one. The Thanksgiving Pizza features a thick Detroit-style crust loaded with turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries, two types of cheese, and crispy onions. Would you consider having pizza for Thanksgiving? For those looking to change it up, adding stuffing and a slice of pumpkin pie to your Thanksgiving Pizza might just be crazy enough to create a memorable culinary experience.
With lower turkey prices, budget-friendly $25 simple Thanksgiving meal options at Target, and unique pizza creations like the Thanksgiving Pizza, this year’s Thanksgiving celebrations can definitely offer something for everyone’s taste and budget. While the cost of the turkey may have gone down, it’s financially savvy to keep an eye on the prices of other ingredients to ensure a hearty and still cost-effective Thanksgiving dinner.