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Last year, the average cost of a "classic" Thanksgiving meal for 10 people hit $66.39, which was a whopping $20 jump from 2019, thanks to record-high inflation.

Thankfully, there are some factors at play that will make grocery shopping a little less painful this year.

A Bird in the Hand...

After suffering from retail whiplash at the cost of eggs and poultry due to an unhinged avian flu destroying coops across the country, it appears the situation is finally coming under control just in time for Thanksgiving.

Crowds Gather For Macy's Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade
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Last year, the average cost of a 16-pound bird cost $30.31. Before the pandemic, the price was a more-affordable $20.38.

Now, economists say turkey prices are expected to calm down because the supply chain isn't struggling from last year's issues. In fact, prices are anticipated to drop by 22 percent.

It's expected that New Yorkers will pay $1.27 a pound this year, versus shelling out the nearly $2-a-pound prices from last year.

Inflation Still a Problem

While turkey prices are falling, New Yorkers might have to shell out a little more for "the fixin's".

However, economists say we won't see the incredible price hikes we endured last year, when prices jumped by 13% between 2021 and 2022. At the moment, the inflation rate for food has gone up by 2.4 percent, per the Consumer Price Index.

Read More: You Won't Believe How Much New Yorkers Waste in Food Each Year

But slowing inflation is still inflation, which means grocery bills may be higher than last year.

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving Holiday As Coronavirus Cases Surge
Photo Credit: Brandon Bell, Getty Images
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On the other hand, wages have bumped up over the past 12 months and that could also lessen the blow at the register.

Still, grocery giants are aware that Americans are cutting costs wherever they can - which isn't great since Thanksgiving is one of their biggest shopping days of the year.

Read More: What Happens When the Rockefeller Xmas Tree Comes from Your Town?

Chains might enact special sales to ensure certain products are moved off their shelves, like pies and fresh produce.

Economists also say falling gas prices will also benefit consumers, because refrigerated trucks are going to cost less to ship food nationwide.

Last year, the average cost-per-mile was around $3.80. Currently, the rate is averaging around $3.30.

What Will Cost More

Here's what consumers should be aware of when they do their Thanksgiving shopping. The items that will cost more are as follows:

  • Russet potatoes will be at an all-time-high, with prices 14% higher than last year
  • Canned cranberries, expected to cost 60% more
  • Canned green beans, up 9%
  • Canned pumpkin will be up by roughly 30%
  • Sweet potatoes, up 4%

Economists are also encouraging New Yorkers to eat at home this year, as it will be a far cheaper option than going out to eat at a restaurant.

Restaurants are currently struggling with staffing shortages and record-high-inflation, which will translate to costlier bills for diners this year.

Photo by Stefan Vladimirov on Unsplash
Photo by Stefan Vladimirov on Unsplash
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The New York Farm Bureau plans on releasing its annual estimate for Thanksgiving costs on November 15, which will provide more data about what to expect when we hit the stores in the coming weeks.

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Open or Closed on Thanksgiving 2023?

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