Thanksgiving

Families Prepare for a Pricey Thanksgiving

The costs of food, gasoline and air travel are much higher this Thanksgiving than in previous years

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Thanksgiving traditions are priceless for most families, and this year, the value of that pricelessness comes at a very high cost.

The cost of a turkey is up 24% year-over-year, and the American Farm Bureau Federation estimates the full meal to be 14% costlier than last year. Shoppers are noticing.

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"Last year, this turkey cost $59, close to $60. Now, my receipt says $75. It's pricey now," said Serio Brevil, who was shopping at Market Basket in Everett, Massachusetts.

Those prices might be tolerable if the costs of so many other goods and services weren't also escalating. According to the U.S. Energy Department, the cost of gas at the pump is up 63% in Massachusetts compared to a year ago, and Hopper.com says the price of domestic airfare is up 14% this Thanksgiving.

For air travelers, like college student BJ Odufuwa, it's a whiplash return to pre-pandemic pricing.

"During the earlier time of COVID, it was pretty cheap, but now, we really have seen an upcharge in airfare prices," he said.

Gas prices have risen more sharply since the doldrums of the pandemic. They are more than a dollar per gallon higher than a year ago in Massachusetts, and when compared with 2019 data, things are still more than 50% higher.

For the most part, shoppers and travelers seem willing to put up with it as long as they get their Thanksgiving traditions back.

"Absolutely, we're going to visit family. That's what Thanksgiving is all about," said Ben Berman, who was traveling to Chicago with a family of five. "You're willing to pay whatever you have to pay to get there."

Do you have the honor of making Thanksgiving dinner for the family this year? It's a lot of work, but if you have a plan, you can get it all done.
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