Thanksgiving Dinner Will Cost More This Year

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

November 16, 2007

A new survey out from the Virginia Farm Bureau shows two things. One, that Virginians will pay more than ever to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. And two, those of us in the Charlottesville area will pay more than anyone else in the state.

Friday afternoon shoppers were stocking up at the Giant on Pantops.

"We got the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and all the trimmings to go with the turkey," said Jackie Peters, as she loaded bags of groceries into the back of her van.

The Virginia Farm Bureau says prices are up more than five percent from last year. Higher energy prices, like the cost of gas to ship groceries, is one big reason.

"Every time we come, we spend more money each week," said Bill Peters. "I mean we just came in here for turkey and we spent $120 dollars, so it's a lot of money."

While all Virginians are expected to pay more, what might surprise you most is that the Charlottesville area is the most expensive in the state. The average price for a dinner for ten will set you back almost $50. Compare that to Wytheville, the cheapest place in the Commonwealth, where shoppers will pay about $20 less.

So local buyers are looking for deals.

"We were just walking around and saw the sales and decided we'd go ahead and get the stuff," said Jackie Peters.

As an example, take the price of turkey. In some parts of the state shoppers can find them for as little as 28 cents per pound. Even the best deals in the Charlottesville area are almost double that. Still, Charlottesville shoppers are unlikely to cut back.

"If it becomes too expensive to drive to work everyday, then maybe you'll get a more fuel efficient car, or you'll move closer to where you work," said Biff Beers as he left the grocery store. "But Thanksgiving- that's once a year. You just do the best you can."

Experts say shoppers might also be able to save a little cash by buying locally grown ingredients. Those products don't have to be transported to the grocery store.

And, though the clock is ticking, shoppers might even be able to find a turkey farm in their area. Virginia is the fourth-largest turkey producing state in the U.S.

Also, many of the major grocery chains in the area are running specials through the holiday.

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