JERSEYVILLE - The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner is up 20% from last year, according to a recent survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The survey found this year’s average cost for a 10-person feast is $64.05, compared to 2021’s average of $53.31. Even as prices continue to skyrocket nationwide, local stores like Sinclair’s Foods in Jerseyville are trying to keep from passing the cost on to their customers.

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This price difference of $10.74 represents the largest year-to-year price jump in the survey’s history dating back to 1986. While 2022 saw the sharpest increase overall, prices have been climbing much more rapidly since 2020.

David Wittman, manager of Sinclair's Foods in Jerseyville, said he’s noticed the price of Thanksgiving foods increasing in recent years, including fuel costs related to delivery. However, he said the store has been doing everything it can to keep from passing those price increases on to customers.

“We’re trying on our end to keep it down as much as we can to help out the local families without just handing over all the extended cost,” Wittman said. “We try to absorb as much of that as we can in other ways to not just raise our prices like the wholesalers raise their prices to us.

“If a gallon of milk goes up 30 cents, it’s very easy for us to just raise our gallon of milk 30 cents, but we don’t feel like that’s the way to do things. We like to figure out a way to raise it a little and offset it some other way so the consumer doesn’t see all of that all at once.”

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Sinclair’s has also been experiencing some supply chain issues, though they are improving slightly from years past, Wittman said.

“I can get most things, but instead of me getting what I order, I might get half of what I ordered,” he said. “It went from not being able to get anything, to not being able to get as much as you need - so it has improved, just not back to normal yet.”

The cost of the Thanksgiving Turkey itself is up 21% from last year at $1.81 per pound, a total of $28.96 for a 16-pound turkey. The Farm Bureau survey cites a smaller supply of turkeys as a contributing factor. Wittman said some Sinclair’s customers have been able to get around rising turkey prices through Sinclair’s Rewards Program.

“Right now, people are saving their points and they’re using them, they’re cashing them in now to receive a free turkey,” he said. “So a lot of our customers are receiving either a lot of money off on a turkey or a completely free turkey.”

Wittman also said shoppers should keep an eye out for Sinclair’s weekly paper ads, which regularly feature discounts on food items for the holidays, including turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas.

Sinclair's Foods is located at 202 Sinclair Drive in Jerseyville and can be reached by phone at (618) 498-6856. More information about the Farm Bureau survey can be found at fb.org.

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