Texas Turkey Day surprise: Dinner cost drops this year

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AUSTIN — Good news for Turkey Day in Texas: The cost of stuffing your face next week has dropped.

The Texas Farm Bureau, that reliable source of everything agriculture, said Wednesday that a traditional Texas-style Thanksgiving dinner for 10 will cost $46.75 this year, 4.3 percent drop from last year.

That’s a drop of $2.10 — enough for a small cup of coffee in some places, or almost for a couple of items at the Dollar Store.


In it’s annual Thanksgiving Meal Report, the bureau surveys the cost of 10 holiday staples, including turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pecan pie.

“Texans can budget a little less for the traditional Thanksgiving meal,” said Russell Boening, the group’s president.

He attributes the drop, in part, to a good production year for turkey farmers across the country — not so good, perhaps, for Tom Turkey that may be facing the chopping block soon, even though much of that is due to record amounts of turkey kept in cold storage.

One more thing: Although the Texas pecan crop is down, prices remain close to what they were last year due to a large supply from above average crops in consecutive years. Blame Hurricane Harvey for the drop in production this year, Boening says.

The only two things on the menu that cost more were jellied cranberry sauce (up about 3.6 percent) and whipping cream (up 3.4 percent).

So, Texans should plan to wolf down as much of the main course as possible on Turkey Day, but go light on the cranberry sauce and dessert topping without fear of tapping their pocketbook too much.

Thanks, Russell, for that bit of holiday good news.

Austin Bureau Chief Mike Ward covers state government, the Executive Branch, criminal justice and Texas politics. Send him tips and comments at Mike.Ward@Chron.com and follow his Twitter feed at @ChronicleMike.



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