Thanksgiving dinner to cost Texans less this year

HOUSTON - Your Thanksgiving meal may cost a little less than it did last year.

The Texas Farm Bureau Thanksgiving Meal Report shows prices down 5 percent in 2012.

A traditional, Texas-style Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will cost $46.08 this year, which is $2.61 less than in 2011.

The Texas Farm Bureau Thanksgiving Meal Report records the cost of 10 holiday staples-including turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pecan pie, to feed a family of 10 people.

If you take advantage of specials at area grocery stores, you may save even more.

HEB is offering a free turkey if you buy a spiral-sliced ham, or if you buy a cooked turkey or brisket you get seven free items in their special meal deal.

Kroger is offering a three-tier turkey promotion. Your turkey is free if you spend up to $150 and have a store card. If you spend $100, you can purchase a turkey for $.29 per pound, or if you spend as little as $20, you can buy a turkey for $.59 per pound with a store card.

Randalls is offering a free 8 to 16 pound turkeys if you spend $100 and have a store card. You can get a free turkey up to 24 pounds if you spend $150 in the store.

Texans will pay less for six of the Thanksgiving staples this year -- young tom turkey, frozen (down 8.66 percent); sweet potatoes, fresh (down 12.9 percent); cranberry sauce, canned (down 2.31 percent); cubed stuffing, herb seasoning (down 5.96 percent); brown and serve rolls, 12 per package (down 26.75 percent); and 9-inch pie shells, frozen (down 9.70 percent).

The Texas Farm Bureau reports this is the second consecutive year for an increase in pecan prices, as shelled and halved nuts were up 18 percent from 2010 to 2011 and up 4.4 percent from 2011 to 2012.

In addition to pecans, three other survey items increased in price -- green beans, frozen (up 5.63 percent); whipping cream (up 3.75 percent); and whole milk, gallon (up 0.52 percent).

Texas Farm Bureau's fourth quarter Grocery Price Watch survey, taken in conjunction with the 2012 Thanksgiving Meal Report, also indicated a 2 percent decrease in grocery prices for household staples from the third quarter. Results from the quarterly survey of 16 common food products dropped from $44.91 in the third quarter to $44.02 in the fourth quarter of this year.

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