Posted: Nov 15, 2011 12:11 PM
BATON ROUGE - A Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings will cost Louisiana families less this year, according to LSU.
A survey by the LSU AgCenter found the basic cost for a meal to feed 10 people this year will be $39.10. That's a slight decrease from last year's survey, which found a 2010 dinner cost $40.68.
The Louisiana survey was based on an American Farm Bureau Federation shopping list and includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk to drink.
Family economist Jeanette Tucker said the largest contributor to this year's savings were higher turkey production, which decreased retail costs by 15 cents per pound.
The Farm Bureau survey was first conducted in 1986 when the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 was $28.74. According to Consumer Price Index data, the 1986 Thanksgiving market basket would cost $59.50 in 2011 dollars, indicating the real cost of the holiday meal has actually decreased over time.
Tucker also offered these tips for saving money when shopping for the Thanksgiving meal:
- Always use a list and minimize the number of trips to the store.
- Develop the list based on store layout to save time as well as money.
- Shop alone and avoid going to the store just before a meal.
- Check store ads and flyers for money-saving specials.
- Use coupons to reduce the cost of products you usually buy and use.
- Purchase generic or store brands when practical and money-saving.
- Remember that items placed at eye level on shelves are often more expensive.
- Purchase fruits, vegetables and fresh seafood in season to avoid higher prices.
- Purchase fresh, unpeeled, unwashed, unpackaged vegetables.
- Determine the cost per serving when selecting meats.
- Check unit pricing to save money.
- Avoid expensive single servings and snack packs.
- Be flexible to take advantage of in-store specials.