Thanksgiving, grocery prices continue to rise

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As preparations begin for Thanksgiving, shoppers across the U.S. have noticed an increase in prices.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost to feed ten people a Thanksgiving dinner is currently $64.05. This is the most expensive dinner in the 37 years of the bureau’s holiday survey and is up around 20% from the 2021 cost of $53.31.

Cranberries were the only item in the survey to show a decrease, with a 12 oz bag costing $2.57. This is down 14% from last year.

Average costs per item are as follows:

  • Turkey (16 lb)
    • 2022: $28.96
    • 2021: $23.99
  • Stuffing (14 oz)
    • 2022: $3.88
    • 2021: $2.29
  • Pumpkin pie filling (30 oz can)
    • 2022: $4.28
    • 2021: $3.64
  • Pie crusts (2)
    • 2022: $3.68
    • 2021: $2.91
  • Whipping cream
    • 2022: $2.24
    • 2021: $1.78
  • Rolls
    • 2022: $3.73
    • 2021: $3.05
  • Milk
    • 2022: $3.84
    • 2021: $3.30
  • Green peas
    • 2022: $1.90
    • 2021: $1.54

With inflation continuing to rise, many small business owners have had to charge more for not only Thanksgiving items but also everyday groceries. 

“I learned as a kid, you just have to bring it up to where it needs to be so all your employees can get paid at the end of the week and your business can continue to roll on,” explained Old World Meats Owner Paul Wrazidlo. “So when it comes to higher prices, we just roll it on the customer because it’s rolled to us.”

This in turn makes it even more difficult to buy necessities. Vickie Effinger had to apply for EBT for the first time a few months ago due to the rising costs. 

“That really bothered me. I really got everybody for months we’re saying ‘why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do this?’ I said ‘people out there that are hurting worse than me’,” said Effinger. “But then when it got to the point where I had to choose between food and bills and go without, I thought, Yeah, it’s time to swallow my pride and just go with it.”

The way people shop has also been affected by the rising costs. 

“The prices are absolutely insane. You’re better off just trying to stock up for your deep freeze on meat when they’re on sale,” said Effinger. “The price of just one package of meat is so outrageous. The only way you’re going to get anything is if they’re on huge sales.”

Having owned Old World Meats for thirty years, Wrazidlo has noticed a difference in what people buy. 

“First thing, when our economy gets tough, people do not buy premium goods, whether it’s at a liquor store, buying a top shelf, or at our meat market,” said Wrazidlo. “So, for instance, if we sold a $12 steak per person for dinner, now we’re basically selling them ground beef at $5 a pound. The big ring items are not moving like they used to, so that hurts our overall dollar.”

Rising fuel prices have made it more expensive to ship products, adding to the cost for consumers. 

“Everything’s made out of fuel but beef. But in a way, it really is made out of fuel because all the tractors and equipment it takes to build that corn and then maintain that beef all goes back into the cost of goods,” explained Wrazidlo. “So we just see astronomical costs. When you look at it, what do we do? Not have the product, we’d have empty shelves, so we just have to turn it on to the customers so everything goes back to the customer.”

Effinger worries that more people will go hungry if something is not done about the rising costs of transporting food.

“It’s frightening because it makes you wonder how much higher it is going to go,” said Effinger. “And now with, you know, a shortage of diesel fuel, the prices are going to go even higher. So it’s insane. It’s like, where is it going to stop?”