[WATCH] Higher Turkey Prices Gobbling Up Thanksgiving Budgets

Avian flu epidemic still putting pressure on poultry prices

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The average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 with all the trimmings is going to top $50, coming in at $50.11—a 70-cent increase from last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk—all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.

The main culprit: Turkeys. The federation says a 16-pound turkey costs $23.04 this year, almost $.09 more per pound (or $1.39 more per whole turkey) from 2014. Price of turkeys, chickens, and eggs have been on the rise since an Avian flu outbreak between December 2014 and January 2015.

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“The outbreak affected 33 million birds, 11% of total egg-laying hens in the United States.  There were higher retail prices as a result,” Annemarie Kuhns, an agricultural economist at the USDA, tells BE.com.

In order to get the best price for a turkey, you may want to wait until Thanksgiving week to do your shopping.

“Typically we do see prices fall for a turkey as it gets closer to Thanksgiving. During the Thanksgiving holiday retailers offer lower prices for turkeys and other holiday staples,” says Kuhns.