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Inflation may alter Thanksgiving shopping list to save money

With Thanksgiving around the corner, some people look forward to some fun and others are looking for ways to save money.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As we get closer to Thanksgiving, some people are looking forward to getting together with friends and family.

“I love being with my family [and] having fun with them,” a young shopper said as she was heading inside Sam's Club for Thanksgiving shopping.

Others are looking for specials and deals while they're preparing for the upcoming holiday.

“I already got the turkey and we already got some of the ingredients for like the green bean casserole," Ashley Curley said. "We're just buying it in bulk just to save a little bit of money.”

Some favorite dishes the kids said they are waiting for are turkey, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.

This year turkey may cost you more because of inflation. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture said bird production is down compared to last year and it's not only turkey.

“Big differences in items from last year to this year," UT professor and consumer economics specialist Ann Berry said. "Like butter and eggs and even potatoes, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes have increased significantly”

The UT study showed that in Tennessee “the total cost of the complete meal for 10 was $112.30.” 

Curley said she usually hosts about 12 people and she buys in bulk while she looks for specials.

“We get all of our meats and all of our bread and stuff like that to help with the price increase,” Curley said.

Another way to save money is to alter the amount of food that it's meant to be served.

"If you can't afford to have those 10 pies for your 10 people you might want to cut down to five because pie crust [prices] have increased," Berry said.

As Berry said, the most important way is to pay attention to what the budget is and find ways to work around it. 

"Try to alter it with prices, and, you know, types of food that we can afford," Berry said.

As for leftovers, there are ways to be creative. Experts suggest using recipes from the SNAP-Ed website. 

“You could use [leftovers] for turkey sandwiches," Curley said. "You could probably put it in the skillet and like crisp it up for breakfast.”

Curley mentioned that people who don’t want to eat leftovers can donate to a shelter. 

If you are wondering when is the best time to start shopping, UT said whole hen prices were $1.72 in September and are expected to go down around Thanksgiving. 

However, turkey prices are still likely to remain above $1.50. Curley said the sooner the better because things are "flying off the shelves."

"I just hope everybody can get together with their families and enjoy a good meal," Curley said. 

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