What to expect when shopping for Thanksgiving groceries as inflation rates ease

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 7:53 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A new report from the Labor Department shows inflation is easing as the holidays approach.

Lower gas and energy prices pushed down overall inflation in October to 3.2%. That’s a big drop from last year’s high of 9.1%. Some of that relief is at the grocery store where prices are up just 2.1%, close to historically normal levels.

In the checkout line, some Thanksgiving grocery shoppers realized they got more bang for their buck this year.

“I’m surprised at some of the prices because I just got used to things being more expensive,” Erin Royals said after she finished checking out from the Cosentino’s downtown. “But it seems like some of the prices are coming down which is great.”

Wanda Williams, who just left with her groceries from the PriceChopper in Roeland Park, agreed.

“I bought one [turkey] for this holiday and also I bought a second turkey in preparation for Christmas,” Williams said.

Research from the Farm Bureau Federation shows the U.S. raised more turkeys this year, which helped prices drop due to more supply. In 2022, they calculated that turkeys cost $1.72 per pound by Thanksgiving. Now, in 2023, it costs about $1.27 per pound, saving customers about 45 cents per pound on an 8-16 pound hen. 

“We’ll buy multiple turkeys, and one person will get one smoked and the other one will make it at home,” Sherese Matthews said after shopping at a PriceChopper.  

Shoppers say another key way to save money is to divide up the responsibilities. When going out to buy holiday groceries, one person can pick up the turkey while others buy the rest of the sides, that way nobody has to buy everything at once. 

“I think it does save money; it also saves time because not one person is doing everything,” Royals said. “Or cooking everything and the trickiest thing is trying to save oven space.”

“I’m in charge of the bread and desserts and my sister is in charge of the sides,” Williams added. 

With all these tactics in mind, store managers say to get the best deals on turkey, shoppers should not wait. 

“Buy now,” urged Cosentino’s Store Manager Chris Paine. “We have too many cases of people coming in last minute trying to buy a turkey and it doesn’t thaw in time. So, buy early.”

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