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How to save on Thanksgiving dinner with rising inflation costs

With some big meals being made around the holidays, some are wondering how much of a bite inflation will have on family celebrations.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the clearest signs of inflation is the grocery store and several meals are going to be feeling its impact this holiday season.  

The last time we saw inflation rates this high was back in the 80’s. Food economist Rodney Holcomb said that last month, turkey prices were up 25% from what they were last year.

“What we’re seeing is a supply chain that’s been in crisis for quite some time,” says Katie Denis of the Consumer Brands Association.

Crisis after crisis is having an impact on the supply chain, in turn driving up the costs many will be seeing this Thanksgiving.

“From droughts to extreme weather to the war happening in Ukraine to the avian flu, we’ve had so many different issues that have made it near impossible for the supply chain to catch up from the pandemic, which was that initial major shock to the system, and we’re seeing that in the form of higher cost to manufacture products and then higher prices for consumers,” said Denis.

Starting November 3, the federal interest rate will be 3.9% to try and slow down inflation, but experts said this may not be immediately reflected on grocery store shelves.

“Raising interest rates is going to have a faster effect on bigger purchases, housing, cars, things like that, it tends not to trickle down too quickly to things that are a little bit more volatile like food and energy the same way,” said Denis.

Instead the bigger impact will be coming from how the food will be getting to the stores.

“The price of diesel fuel that is up 66% year over year or the impending rail strike, that’s going to have a massive impact not only on the cost of manufacturing goods but also on the availability,” said Denis.

Experts said the best thing to do is slowly start buying your Thanksgiving sides now to allow yourself time to price shop and account for low supply or high prices.  However, it's important to refrain from panic buying in bulk to avoid from driving up demand even more.

“Because of high demand, you’re going to see higher prices, so making sure that you’re not doing a run on that cranberry sauce or buying every crescent roll in the store is going to help that somewhat,” said Denis.

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