HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Smart shoppers know what to expect before buying their Thanksgiving meal and the Virginia Farm Bureau wants to arm you with that information. They survey stores across the state to determine how food costs compare. They look at ten basic items that could feed 10 adults. This year's dinner will cost $43.39 on average.
"Pretty good news for the consumer that prices went up just really a penny from last year," said Virginia Farm Bureau Spokesperson Sherri McKinney.
Prices overall have declined since 2008, but turkeys went the other way.
"Primarily because the feed costs have increased," she said.
But it's not reflected in turkey prices in our area. No matter where you go, you'll pay a fraction of the national average.
"They know if they get you in with a great price on a turkey, the rest will follow," McKinney said.
Skip the precut produce you'll save almost half by slicing it yourself. There's a big price difference between stuffing brands, so comparison shopping keeps money in your pocket.
In general, food costs remained the same as last year, but different stores offer different deals. So who's going to save you the most this season?
We priced the Virginia Farm Bureau's list at our four major grocers. This week, Walmart's meal will cost you $32.50, well below the state average of $43.39, but it gets better. Martin's dinner is just under $27, Food Lion has it for $25.59, but the cheapest deal is at Kroger. Their Thanksgiving feast sells for $25.41.
Kroger and Martin's require a minimum purchase of $25.00 to get the discounted price on turkeys. Martin's is $35.00, but keep in mind, you can lower these prices even more using coupons and buying store brands.