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Where to save on Thanksgiving staples. WRTV compares the cost at grocery stores around Indianapolis

Your holiday meal could cost you less this year
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Posted at 1:55 PM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 14:19:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS — With Thanksgiving about a week away, many people are heading to the grocery store and preparing for their feast.

WRTV has worked to find out just how much you need to budget for your Thanksgiving feast?

Reporter Kaitlyn Kendall has completed WRTV's annual grocery shopping list to compare prices at three popular grocery chains to find out just how much you should budget for.

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Kaitlyn went shopping at Aldi, Kroger and Meijer for four holiday staples:

  • Turkey
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Stuffing
  • Pumpkin Pie

All of the items will be donated to a local charity that helps families during the holidays.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reports you will see relief in some food prices.

AFBF's 38th annual Thanksgiving meal cost survey shows the average meal for a family of 10 will cost 4.5% less than last year.

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Experts say that turkey has seen the biggest price drop this year. Last year turkey prices hit an all time high due to supply demand issues.

WRTV has shared why turkey prices are lower this year. An AFBF economist and a local turkey farmer shared what they are seeing in terms of turkeys this year.

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Many shoppers compare prices from store to store to find the biggest deal. WRTV compared the prices, so you don't have to.

We chose to purchase an approximately 15 pound Butterball turkey. We chose Butterball to keep the consistency across the board.

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NOTE: Some stores are offering cheaper per pound price on their store brand turkey, and promos if you use a member card so keep that in mind if you're out shopping!

Butterball turkey was priced at the following prices in 2023:

  • Kroger: $1.99/lb
  • Meijer: $1.29/lb
  • Aldi: $1.27/lb

NOTE: Kroger's butterball turkey was $1.59/lb with the use of a Kroger card.

The same comparison in 2022 showed turkey prices were more. But in 2021, turkey prices were an average of 50%+ less.

2022 Butterball Turkey Prices

  • Kroger: $1.99/lb
  • Meijer: $1.20/lb
  • Aldi: $1.59/lb

2021 Turkeys Prices

  • Kroger: $.99/lb
  • Meijer: $.33/lb
  • Aldi: $.33/lb

NOTE: In 2021 WRTV didn't buy butterball turkeys, instead the cheapest turkey a store had to offer.

The turkey isn't the only place WRTV noticed a price drop this year, however cranberry sauce went against the grain. Though subtly at some places, it saw a rise across the board.

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2023 Cranberry Sauce Prices

  • Kroger: $2.29
  • Meijer: $1.99
  • Aldi: $1.99

2022 Cranberry Sauce Prices

  • Kroger: $1.99
  • Meijer: $1.98
  • Aldi: $1.98

2021 Cranberry Sauce Prices

  • Kroger: 1.49
  • Meijer: $1.69
  • Aldi: $.89

Stuffing lowered at most places this year, but it did stay the same at one store.

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2023 Stuffing Prices

  • Kroger: $3.29
  • Meijer: $2.59
  • Aldi: $.99

2022 Stuffing

  • Kroger: $3.29
  • Meijer: $1.99
  • Aldi: $1.99

2021 Stuffing

  • Kroger: $2.00
  • Meijer: $1.99
  • Aldi: $.89

You can't have Thanksgiving without dessert. We chose to go with the classic pumpkin pie.
Pie saw the biggest jump from 2021 to 2022, but in 2023 pries appeared to level out a bit.

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2023 Pumpkin Pie Prices

  • Kroger: $5.49
  • Meijer: $5.49
  • Aldi: $4.69

2022 Pumpkin Pie Prices

  • Kroger: $9.99
  • Meijer: $9.99
  • Aldi: $5.99

2021 Pumpkin Pie Prices

  • Kroger: $4.99
  • Meijer: $4.99
  • Aldi: $5.89

Regardless of the prices shoppers told WRTV they aren't willing to sacrifice their holiday traditions due to cost.

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When looking at the comparison of totals over the past three years, it appears Hoosiers will receive some relief to their pockets this Thanksgiving.

2023 Total Cost

  • Kroger: $44
  • Meijer: $31.12
  • Aldi: $26.71

2022 Total Cost

  • Kroger: $46.06
  • Meijer: $44.92
  • Aldi $26.45

2021 Total Cost

  • Kroger: $25
  • Meijer: $16
  • Aldi: $23

Note: In 2021 WRTV bought store brand items to find the cheapest price, where in 2023 and 2021 we tried to but the same brad at each store for a better comparison. Keep in mind that many stores offer their name brand product which will lower the total cost in many instances.

AFBF reports that stores acknowledged that inflation is still a concern for customers.

But after a year of sky-high inflation on food at the grocery store in 2022, price increases have cooled to near-normal levels. Food meant to be consumed at home has gone up 2.1% in the last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Tuesday.