The cost of a homemade Thanksgiving dinner’s going up.

Last year, it cost $38.10 to feed 10 people, according to IBISWorld, Inc., a business intelligence publisher. Consumers can expect to spend $40.50 to $41.00, considering frozen turkeys cost about 8 percent more and food prices in general rose 6 percent since last year.

But overall, turkey prices are lower from September to December. Some stores offer turkeys for as little as 37 to 47 cents per pound. Grocers do this in part because they anticipate shoppers will buy other holiday feast ingredients while at the same store.

You may be wondering what beats turkey. Think ham. It’s dropped in price 0.10 percent, said George Van Horn, IBISWorld senior analyst. Pork prices rose 1.4 percent from last year, which is still less than the 6 percent price jump for turkey.

“Transportation costs have increased. It costs more to get the turkey from the farm to the consumer. Producer costs have stayed about the same,” said Van Horn, explaining why turkey prices rose. So just as you may be wincing every time you have to fill up your car’s gas tank, so are the drivers who deliver turkeys.

What does cheaper turkey at the end of the year mean for you? Well, if you’re a fan of turkey, it’s nice to know you can get a good deal during the holidays. If you’re debating what to get, maybe you’ll buy a ham. If you were looking to change it up this year maybe you’ll do just that.

You might want to check out your supermarket’s Web site before shopping. If your area has several stores you can comparison shop from home before you go out. And maybe they’ll have online coupons.

November 20, 2007