We've been warned more than once: the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner will cost more than ever in 2022.

But posted prices at New Jersey supermarkets and in their flyers suggest that isn't the case right now.

The prices of many sides and ingredients you'd need to form a full Thanksgiving dinner are up by a bit, but prices of turkeys are about the same or even better than in 2021, perhaps as a way to get shoppers in the door.

When looking at the rundown of prices below, keep in mind that a number of supermarket chains offer discounts to shoppers who are signed up for their loyalty programs.

Price of a Thanksgiving turkey

Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ
Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ

At a Walmart location in Monmouth County on Friday, shoppers were able to grab a 16-pound Shady Brook Farms frozen turkey for $15.68 (99 cents per pound). Shoppers who are faithful to the classic Butterball turkeys would have to pay just $1.18 per pound (less than $19 total).

The price for a Butterball was $2.38 per pound at a ShopRite location just minutes away along Route 9. Their own brand was priced at $1.89 per pound. ShopRite is currently running a promotion that awards a free turkey or ham to shoppers who spend $400 at the supermarket chain between Oct. 16 and Nov. 24.

For the week of Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, Aldi is selling whole frozen turkeys from Butterball for $1.07 per pound. Through Nov. 17, Stop & Shop is offering frozen turkeys at 49 cents per pound, for shoppers with a loyalty card that make a $25 purchase.

Due to inflation and an outbreak of avian flu, industry observers have told consumers to watch for record turkey prices this holiday season.

Cost of cooking Thanksgiving dinner

Homemade Turkey Thanksgiving Dinner

In a Personal Capital survey, most respondents said they're budgeting between $101 and $200 for Thanksgiving food in 2022. Twenty-eight percent said they're capping themselves at $100.

Using a standard menu created by the American Farm Bureau Federation as a model, we found that feeding a table of 10 can still cost you less than $50. The math, though, doesn't include potential purchases such as disposable plates and tablecloths, or standard items used for cooking and baking, like butter, since you may have them in your refrigerator or pantry at all times.

Prices on many of the menu items have increased since 2021.

A 30 oz. can of pumpkin pie mix is listed at $4.69 on the ShopRite website. Last year, that price was $3.59. And the price of whipping cream at ShopRite rose by 50 cents. Twelve ounces of fresh cranberries went from $1.98 at Walmart in 2021 to $2.66 in 2021. The price of 12 dinner rolls jumped 50 cents year over year at Wegmans.

The price you'd pay for the same type of item can vary greatly from store to store. Store-brand items almost always come with better prices than the more popular brands.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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