Turkey prices up slightly this year, American Farm Bureau Federation survey reveals

Consumers will spend an average of $49.48 on a Thanksgiving feast for 10, up 28 cents from last year but still less than $5 a person.
by Jennifer Palmer Published: November 9, 2012

However, customers on a budget can reduce the expense by choosing a basic, frozen turkey, canned items and making the meal from scratch. “Preparing it yourself is always a much cheaper and better option,” Cramer said.

The Farm Bureau's shopping list assumes the consumer is cooking from scratch; the menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons. Items include a 16-pound turkey, a dozen rolls, 1-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, cubed stuffing, sweet potatoes, coffee and milk, cranberries, peas and miscellaneous ingredients — enough to feed 10 people.

Adjusted for inflation, the average meal costs less than it did in 1986 when the survey began.

Mike Spradling, president of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, said that's because of agriculture producers' increased efficiency. Through genetic engineering and genetic cross breeding, farmers are able to produce more pounds of product on less land, he explains.

“Food is still a tremendous bargain in this country. I think that's important for the consumer to know,” he said.

by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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