ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If you are still looking to get any shopping done ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday this week, patrons can expect to find a mixed-bag of costs. Some items are down compared to last year’s high prices across the board, other items also are staying high in cost thanks to stubborn inflation.
Some reports vary in estimates, but the main feast item, the turkey, is down about 15%, compared to last year when prices were drive much higher due to an increase in avion flu cases contributing to a decline in supply.
“This time a year ago, groceries prices were up 11%, now they’re down only 2% — but that’s still, for the consumer, 13% over 13 months,” says Mark Weber, Director of Nazareth University’s Business Leadership Undergraduate Program.
In the New York State Farm Bureau’s latest Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Survey, volunteer shoppers found the main dish, averaging 16-pound turkey, will cost about $27.35 (or $1.71/pound), down 5.6% compard to last year’s record breaking prices.
Canned items, however, are seeing an increase. According to an annual Thanksgiving cost report from Wells Fargo, canned cranberry sauces are up almost 9% compared to last year. Fresh cranberries, however, are seeing an abudnace of supply, driving market prices down about 20%.
Costs for canned pumpkins are currently 30% higher this year from last year. On average, canned green beans are up almost 9% from this time last year. Another main dish staple: potatoes. The standardly used Russet potatoes are seeing an all-time high retail price around $1.17/lb., up about 14%.
“I think overall things are better because fuel costs are down, seed costs fertilizer costs, so at the producer level for the farmer, they’re seeing better things. But on the other hand, just to give you a little bit of balance, there’s some environmental issues facing U.S. agriculture where a lot of our food comes from; too dry in some places like the southwest and west coast, too wet sometimes in the midwest so we get a mixed-bag of what the yields are and that makes our groceries fluxuate a little bit,” Weber says.
It is important to note, the Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers are from when they were visiting stores in early November before many retailers began selling turkeys at lower prices, which means you may find better deals.
“We definitely look at the national average and we also look to see what we can do best for our customers, so we always make sure that we’re putting out affordable price out there so you don’t have to stress over those family meals because this is the time you’re supposed to be enjoying around the table with your family and friends so we do look at those prices well in advance and then adjust accordingly,” says Kathy Sautter, Director, Corporate Communications and Public Relations with Tops Friendly Markets.
When it comes to executing that shopping list effectively, Weber offers some tips to keep in mind as you’re on the hunt for savings.
“First thing is never go to a store hungry because the reason they have these big carts at the store is because we feel like we’re not filling them,” he says.
“Sometimes looking above…. The most high prices are at your eye level and then the deals are either reachable or down below, so sometimes when you look lower, you’ll get a lower price on a shelf then where you can see eye level,” Weber adds.