Personal Finance

Turkey Prices Taking a Bigger Bite Out Of Consumers This Thanksgiving

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As if hosting Thanksgiving isn’t stressful enough, consumers could find an unpleasant surprise when they get to the checkout counter this year.

Wholesale turkey prices are expected to hit a record high this thanksgiving with an average of $1.68 per pound, according to The Wall Street Journal.

That’s up 13.3% from 2009, and 35% higher than in 2007, The Journal says.

Is Tom Turkey that much tastier? Doubtful. No, the reason for the price hike has more to do with creeping inflation. October saw a 1.2% rise (year-to-year) in the Consumer Price Index (CPI); the benchmark statistic the U.S. government uses to measure inflation.

Another factor – the price tag for raising turkeys has skyrocketed. “The fundamental reason why you’re seeing record-high turkey prices is the fact we’re seeing record-high costs of raising turkeys,” said Tom Elam, president of Carmel, Indian-based FarmEcon LLC, an agriculture consultant, in an interview with Bloomberg. “When both stocks are down and production is down, then you get a double hit on the amount available to be consumed.”

Savvy shoppers may still find good deals on turkeys this week. Walmart has a reputation for offering turkeys at deeply-discounted prices (the retailer sold them for .40 cents-per-pound last year). Just don’t wait too long to get in on those kinds of deals.

Otherwise, if the price of your turkey induces sticker shock this holiday season, you can do without, or take a new route and opt for the turducken.

Just don’t tell the family that it was’s idea.

Image by TheKosher, Wikimedia Commons

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