Thanksgiving dinner prices in AZ slightly lower this year

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Now here's something for which to be thankful.

The Arizona Farm Bureau says a classic Thanksgiving Dinner in Arizona will cost about 13.5 percent less this year than it did last year.

According to an annual survey done by the Arizona Farm Bureau, a turkey dinner with all the trimmings will cost $39.82 for an Arizona family of 10, or around $3.98 per person.

This is a decrease of $6.45 or about 13.5 percent less than the 2016 Arizona Thanksgiving meal ($46.27).

Without factoring in coupons or specials, the cost of a 16-pound turkey purchased in Arizona this year was $14.24, or $.89 per pound, which reflects a decrease of 34 cents per pound, or a total of $5.44 less than last year for the same size turkey.

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"According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the frozen and fresh whole turkey markets are steady with supply up just a bit," says Arizona Farm Bureau Outreach Director Julie Murphree. "While we've released our Thanksgiving market basket ahead of American Farm Bureau's report, we're confident that Arizona's turkey prices during this holiday season are quite competitive."

The 2017 Arizona Thanksgiving meal cost estimate is the result of the Arizona Farm Bureau's annual informal Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey of the prices of basic food items found on the Thanksgiving dinner table. 

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For a seventh consecutive year, Arizona Farm Bureau conducted an Organic Price Survey on the same basic food items found on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The Organic Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings will cost $93.51, over twice the amount of the non-organic purchase of the same items. This is a decrease of $1.35 or just over 1 percent less than the 2016 organic meal ($94.86).

The biggest ticket item was a 16-pound organic turkey at $47.84 or $2.99 per pound. Milk, frozen pie shells, and cubed bread stuffing were also significantly higher in price than the non-organic items.

The Arizona Farm Bureau survey shopping list includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray including carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream plus coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. To make a proper comparison, these items are the same food items used in the national Farm Bureau survey for the past two decades.

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"Go to Arizona Farm Bureau's Fill Your Plate if you want to purchase a live turkey from one of our retail farmers," adds Murphree. "A few of our small, urban farmers do raise turkeys for the holiday season. Plus, we have a section of recipes devoted to Thanksgiving meals."

"Throughout the year we're fortunate to enjoy a bounty of foods produced in Arizona and across the nation, said Arizona Farm Bureau President Stefanie Smallhouse, a cattle rancher, alfalfa and specialty crop farmer from Pima County. "It's especially appropriate as we gather at the Thanksgiving table to savor not only food and fellowship but to take a moment to recognize that this blessing begins with our hard-working farm and ranch families. Arizona agriculture is a $23.3 billion industry and is a major component of the state's economy."

Arizona farmers and ranchers produce most of the ingredients in the traditional Thanksgiving meal including dressing (bread, onions and celery), peas, pumpkin and pecans for pies, and several others. Even roses, sometimes used for holiday centerpieces, are grown in Arizona.

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"Based on this year's average meal cost, Arizona residents can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal for around $3.98 per person. That's worthy of many thanks," Smallhouse concluded.

The Farm Bureau Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey is unscientific but serves as a gauge of actual price trends across the state. This survey is based on shelf price and does not reflect special prices and promotional gimmicks

Shoppers involved in this year's survey were asked to identify the best in-store price, excluding promotional coupons and special deals. Farm Bureau's survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

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The Arizona Farm Bureau is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and improving the agriculture industry through member involvement in education, political activities, programs and services. As a member services organization, individuals can become a member by contacting the Farm Bureau. Go to www.azfb.org to learn more. 

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