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Thanksgiving dinner cost: Turkeys up 25 cents this year

turkey111910_optBY BOB HOLT

The price of food is up about 3.5 to 4.5 percent this year, and that will be reflected in the rising cost of a Thanksgiving meal. The cost of Thanksgiving dinner will jump 13 percent this year, which marks the biggest price increase in 20 years.

According to the New York Post, the American Farm Bureau Federation said the average cost to feed 10 people on Thanksgiving in 2011 is $49.20. That’s up $5.73 from last year’s total of $43.47.

The survey said a 16-pound turkey cost $21.57 this year, or about $1.35 a pound. about a 25 cent a pound increase from 2010. The price of a 14-ounce package of cubed bread for stuffing rose from an average $2.64 to $2.88, and a dozen brown-and-serve rolls went from $2.12 to $2.30. And two 9-inch pie shells went up 6 cents, and the cost of a 30-ounce can of pumpkin-pie mix increased 41 cents.

Census Bureau data said rising commodity and energy prices increased the cost of food eaten at home by 6.3 percent in September compared to 2010. Washington senior economist John Anderson told Businessweek, “The worst of the price inflation may be ending, and we should see moderation in 2012.”

According to, the AFBF's price survey was first conducted in 1986. In that year a Thanksgiving dinner cost $28.74. In 2011, 141 shoppers from 35 states were involved, and New Jersey was not one of them. New York and Pennsylvania were represented, and shoppers were told to look for the best possible prices, including generic brands.

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