MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Increasing food costs have shoppers and organizations looking for ways to save, while grocers advertise discounts and coupons ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“My budget is a lot different with inflation. The meat is higher. I have to be more smart and selective about how much I purchase or when do I purchase,” shopper Travis Blair said.
Kroger spokesperson Sheleah Harris said their stores had been busier since the beginning of November.
“We’re expecting full stores. We know this time of year can be difficult for families,” Harris said.
In fact, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, Thanksgiving dinner costs are up about 20 percent. That includes prices of turkeys, dinner rolls and pie crusts at an increase of around that amount. The Farm Bureau found a 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix increased 69 percent to $3.88.
The reasons for inflation include disease like the avian flu, which affected poultry, and a frost, which affected the potato crop. Even the war in Ukraine has effects on your Thanksgiving dinner; the conflict cut off that country’s export supply of grains.
Kroger officials said they’re offering discounts on Thanksgiving ingredients. They also recommend using traditional and digital coupons.
“You’ll see some special discounts on traditional Thanksgiving items like turkeys and green beans and sweet potato in stores,” Harris said.
At the Metropolitan Infter-Faith Association, or MIFA, Meals on Wheels director Tonya Parker called the effects of inflation a “double whammy.”
“With the number of people we serve, the high food costs,” she said. “We’re serving more. There is definitely a need. People need that meal.”
In fact, she said MIFA has taken on an extra 100 clients a month since July. Each meal costs at least $10 and they only get reimbursed by the federal government for $8. The shortfall costs MIFA around $1 million a year.
“We all gravitate to those seniors in making sure they get that meal,” Parker said. “It makes us become thankful for what we have.”
She says the best way to help is by donating or volunteering. They need people to pack presents or deliver meals each week and on Christmas morning.
There is a little bit of good news: Kroger reps said they don’t have any item shortages this year and national researchers don’t track any major increases in the costs of cranberries and green beans.