Turkeys gobble budget

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Even with the increase in the price of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, locals aren’t skimping when it comes to setting the main course on the table.

According to an American Farm Bureau Federation’s survey, a turkey dinner and all the fixings will cost about $49.48, or just 28 cents more than it did last year.

The nonprofit, grassroots organization advocating farmer interests relied on 150 volunteer-shoppers across the country to price out traditional Thanksgiv-ing menu items including turkey, rolls and pumpkin pie.

And while 28 cents is not exactly going to break the bank, what’s interesting is the rise in prices of the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving spreads – the turkey. The cost of the birds rose in part due to the drought farmers saw in the summer, which had an impact on another American favorite, pork.

The rise in price is also due to an increase in demand for turkeys, according to the AFBF, who estimates that the cost of a 16-pound turkey will be $22.23, or roughly $1.39 per pound. That’s an increase of 4 cents per pound, or a total of 66 cents a turkey.

A quick poll of Star-News Facebook friends showed locals consider themselves “blessed” when it comes to putting the holiday dinner on the table this year.

Cheryl Collins said, “We are blessed to have both on our table this year. We have a large family that will be visiting from out of state, and I am very proud to be able to show off our wonderful small town way of life.”

Andalusia’s Gina French agreed with Collins, but one Star-News friend, Kristen Burns, will be serving it all – literally.

“Our tables will have turduckin, which is a chicken inside a duck, inside the turkey; a typical salt cured ham and a brown sugar and praline ham,” Burns said. “Most all of our family comes together at this time, and we try to appeal to them all.”

Flyers, which were included as recent Star-News inserts, show the Andalusia Winn-Dixie is offering turkeys at 59 cents a pound and spiral hams at $1.99 per pound, while Wal-Mart is advertising price matching on any local competitor’s printed ad.