The cost of Thanksgiving Dinner

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Everyone has seen the increase in prices at the grocery store, so it should come as no surprise that it will cost more to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table this year.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is one of several groups that look at that cost each year.

This year, the AFBF sent 155 volunteer shoppers in 35 states to check prices on a 16-pound turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray with celery and carrots, and pumpkin pie with whipped topping. The volunteers were asked to look for the best prices, but not to use special coupons or deals.

Data from those shoppers revealed about a 20-cent per pound increase in the cost of turkey from 2011 to 2012. Many of the other items decreased in cost from last year, or stayed the same.

The total increase in the price tag for the 2012 traditional Thanksgiving meal only comes to about 1%.

Several analysts say the cost of Thanksgiving dinner breaks down to a little more than $5 per person.

There are several ways to save a couple dollars though:

1. Plan your menu

2. Choose one meat and determine how much you need (then buy the right amount)

3. Shop with a list

4. Use coupons/store promotions/price-matching

5. Ask friends and family to bring a dish

When you stick to the tips above, you can cut down your total cost significantly by avoiding multiple trips to the store, dishes that require multiple ingredients (and therefore more money), and leftovers you have to toss because you don't have room to keep them.

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