Thanksgiving dinner costs less this year

Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 23, 2016

It's the busiest day of the year for grocery stores as people rush to get those last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner. 

And this year, the meal actually costs less. 

"We have the greens, the turkey, the drinks," said Meijer shopper Nikki Lewis, who was doing some last minute Thanksgiving prep. 

Every grocery store saw steady crowds Wednesday and many added additional staff to the schedule. 

"As soon as the doors open in the morning to when we close at night, people planning for their meals tomorrow and it's busy all the way through," said Nick Bandoch, a spokesman for Sendik's. 

A survey released by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation shows that a traditional thanksgiving dinner is at its lowest price in six years.

The survey found that thanksgiving dinner costs a total of $47.91. That's $2.17 less than last year's price.

Divide that by an estimated 10 family members and you're paying less than $5 per person. 

But turkeys are cheaper this year, too. Wisconsin's average price for a turkey came down $1.44. 

"We're very competitive and we want to bring the shoppers here so we try to get our prices as low as possible," said Metro Market Assistant Manager Larry Griebenow. 

Meijer is also offering deals on turkeys. When you spend $30, your purchase of any fresh or frozen turkey, regardless of brand or size, will be 60 percent off. 

The company expects to sell one million turkeys this year across all their stores. 

Most people remember to buy the turkey but they may forget the smaller items. 

The most commonly forgotten items for Thanksgiving are:

  1. Cream cheese 
  2. Cream of mushroom soup 
  3. Celery 
  4. Butter
  5. Sweet potatoes or yams 
If you did forget something this year, most stores will be open on Thanksgiving. Here's a list of local stores and their hours: 
  • Sendik's: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Meijer In Wauwatosa: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
  • All other Meijers: 24 hours 
  • Pick 'n save: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Woodman's: Open until 1:45 p.m. 
  • Piggly Wiggly: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Metro Market: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.