BY INDIANA NASH
CAPITAL REGION — Anyone looking for something else to be thankful for this week might try taking a look at their Thanksgiving grocery receipts.
According to the New York Farm Bureau, there should be some savings there.
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner costs 9 percent less this year than it did in 2015, according to the bureau’s Market Basket Survey for 2016, which surveyed the average cost of a dozen common Thanksgiving food items.
The average price of the holiday dinner this year is $46.63, a calculation that includes a 16-pound turkey. In 2015, the average price was $52.30.
For many shoppers, the price drop was steepest for vegetables.
“I really noticed that the potatoes were down this year,” said Schenectady resident Pat Galbraith.
According to the survey, sweet potatoes cost, on average, $1.23 per pound, down from last year’s $1.36 per pound.
Galbraith said she also noticed the cost of bread is lower, which makes stuffing a bit cheaper.
In 2015, a 12-ounce package of enriched brown-and-serve rolls was $3.11 on average. This year, it comes in at just $2.56.
The New York Farm Bureau lists a few reasons for the price declines.
“The drop in price is attributed to an 8 percent increase in the national turkey supply this Thanksgiving, following last year’s decline in production because of an avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest in early 2015,” the bureau said in a prepared statement about the survey.
Pumpkin supplies were higher this year as well, making the classic pumpkin pie mix 30 cents cheaper than in 2015.
Milk prices have been consistent throughout 2016, coming in at around $3.26 per gallon.
Though she said it hasn’t made much of an impact on her spending this season, Niskayuna resident Debbie Luskin said she’s noticed the price differences as well.
“Turkeys were definitely cheaper than they were last year and in the past,” Luskin said.
Survey says: a frozen, self-basting turkey weighing 16 pounds comes in at $22.20, compared with $26.40 in 2015.
The savings might not be noticed by all local shoppers – especially those who are still working on their Thanksgiving Day shopping budgets – but local bakeries said that they are busy as ever.
Riverview Orchards, an apple orchard and country store in Rexford, has taken hundreds of pie orders this year.
They’ve been open since 1944 and have been baking pies ever since.
“The favorites are always apple, pumpkin and our apple crumb … we have approximately the same number as in prior years,” said Isabel Prescott, Riverside’s owner.
The place was abuzz with people over the past week, as locals stopped by to order pies or pick up baking supplies to make their own.
At Fo’Castle Farms in Burnt Hills, pie orders have increased by more than 10 percent from last year.
In the past, the business made around 900 pies to order for Thanksgiving, but between Monday and Wednesday, Fo’Castle Farms will have made more than 1,000 pies, according to owner Glenn Hogue.
“We also make some pies for walk-ins,” he said. That’s where the number can get tricky, as Hogue can never be sure how many of those shoppers are buying specifically for Thanksgiving desserts.
For Nick Smith, pastor at Next Level Church’s Saratoga location, this year seems to be an extra generous one. Next Level has locations in multiple states.
The churches’ Stuff-A-Truck fundraisers, at which volunteers collect truckloads of food donations to give to people in need on Thanksgiving, has seen a lot more donations this year.
“We’ve seen rises all across the Northeast this year,” Smith said.