How to have a great Thanksgiving meal and not break the bank

PITTSBURGH — Expect to pay more — a lot more for your Thanksgiving meal this year.

Turkey prices are the highest they have ever been. Beverly Pounds from Pounds Turkey Farm in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, says they have never seen prices this high.

The turkey farm has been around since 1935, and this year they will process 4,000 fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving, but their customers will be paying more.

“We hated to do that but we really didn’t have a choice,” says Pounds, who added that their turkey prices are up “70 cents a pound over last year.”

Thanks to inflation, the cost of raising turkeys has gone way up for farmers. And, you, the consumer, are paying for it.

The price of boneless, skinless fresh turkey breast was $3.16 per pound in 2021. This year, it hit a whopping $6.70 per pound in September, according to the American Farm Bureau.

Turkey supplies are also lower this year because of the bird flu, which has affected more than 47 million birds across the country — more than 7 million of them turkeys.

According to a new survey by FMI — The Food Industry Association — 45% of shoppers are worried about the cost of holiday meals. They are shopping early and looking for deals.

So what’s the best way to save as you shop for Thanksgiving? We traveled to the Charley Family Shop ‘n Save in Greensburg to get the inside scoop from co-owner Tom Charley.

Here are some things he told us:

  • Nov. 10 is the day to start shopping for Thanksgiving. That’s the day turkeys and other seasonal items will go on sale at grocery stores in this area.
  • Some products are being sold at a loss to attract customers. Expect turkeys to be priced very aggressively.
  • Shop the store brand.
  • Use your loyalty card for perks and savings.
  • Use coupons.
  • And don’t waste any leftovers. Beverly Pounds says that fresh, cooked turkey can be frozen for six months and yet still retain its full flavor. The bones from the turkey can also be used to make broth.

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