Cost of Thanksgiving dinner going up 13%

Rising commodity costs will be felt when shoppers begin buying items for their Thanksgiving meals. A full-scale meal this year is expected to cost about 13 percent more than last year.

WASHINGTON -- Putting a traditional turkey dinner on the table is going to be pricier this Thanksgiving.

The American Farm Bureau Federation reported Thursday that a meal with turkey and all the trimmings will cost about 13 percent more this year over last year.

The trade group estimates that a classic meal for 10 will cost $49.20 on average. That is $5.73 more than last year's $43.47 average.

The meal will cost less than $5 a person, but it's still much more expensive than in years past. The jump results from food makers and grocers raising their prices to cover higher commodity costs.

Nearly everything from cranberries to pumpkin pie is pricier this year, but the biggest hike is for the main course: A 16-pound turkey will cost almost $4 more this year, at $21.57, according to the trade group.

The group surveyed prices in stores nationwide. But grocers often discount key items as the holiday approaches, and that could reduce the cost of Thanksgiving dinner.

John Anderson, senior economist for the Farm Bureau, said it's important to remember that Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than most people around the world.

"Given what is going on in the economy, higher prices on anything are not welcome," Anderson said. "(But) it does not have the same impact as food prices in other parts of the world do. We are fortunate in that sense."