Good Gravy! Cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner Jumps 13%

If you've been to a grocery store lately, this probably doesn't come as much of a shock: the cost to put a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the table has risen significantly from last year.

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

According to the agency's calculations, it will cost about $49.20 to feed 10 people. That's $5.73 more than last year's average of $43.47.

One of the biggest factors behind the jump is a 22-percent increase in the cost of the dinner's main attraction: the turkey. The group estimates that a 16-pound turkey will cost about $21.57 this year, that's about $1.35 a per pound — or an increase of about 25 cents per pound, or a total of $3.91 per whole turkey, compared with 2010.

AFBF Economist John Anderson said strong demand has driven up turkey prices both in the U.S. and around the world.

But the cost of nearly all of the other items also has climbed. Everything from cranberries to pumpkin pie to peas will set you back further this year.

"Retailers are being more aggressive about passing on higher costs for shipping, processing, and storing food to consumers," Anderson said.

So maybe this is the year that you should look to eat over someone else's house.

The AFBF has been conducting its survey each year since 1986. They reach their estimates by sending 141 volunteers from 35 states out to buy the items on the list. The shoppers are asked to look for the best price possible, without taking advantage of special promotions, such as getting a free turkey with a purchase, or coupons.

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