THANKSGIVING 4% CHEAPER THIS YEAR
WASHINGTON — Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings dropped 4% in price this year, according to an annual survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation here. AFBF's 24th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table estimated the average cost of this year's feast at $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year's record-high average of $44.61. Each year, AFBF asks about 200 volunteer shoppers to look for the best possible prices on a list of items, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as loyalty card specials that offer a free turkey after shoppers spend a certain amount of money. The survey shopping list included turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, as well as coffee and milk to drink, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. According to the survey, the cost of a 16-pound turkey decreased 3 cents per pound or a total of 44 cents per turkey. Milk dropped 92 cents at $2.86 per gallon and was the largest contributor to the overall decrease in the cost of the 2009 Thanksgiving dinner. Other fresh items that decreased in price included the half pint of whipping cream, carrots and celery, cranberries, onions, eggs, butter and other items.