COLORADO SPRINGS — Odds are you'll be heading to the grocery store soon to get those Thanksgiving meal staples, but consumer experts are warning this year you could end up paying more and might even struggle to find certain items. News5 is looking at some things to think about when planning your meal this year.
Food prices right now are up 5.3% from this time last year and Thanksgiving this year comes at a time when costs are higher for farmers and there are labor shortages impacting the supply chain. Ultimately it could mean less selection on the shelves and higher prices for that Thanksgiving meal.
"I feel like it's going to be pretty hectic I would get out early. That's why I'm here now. I have a newborn at home and I do not want to be dealing with that at the last minute. Definitely get here," said Dedra who spoke to News5 as she left the store after shopping for her Thanksgiving meal.
Southern Colorado shoppers tell News5 this year having a plan for Thanksgiving meal grocery shopping might be more important than ever.
"Get it done early because it's going to be a madhouse. Next week... forget it," warned Robin as she finished up her Thanksgiving meal shopping.
She says it took her awhile to find what she needed.
"So I shopped around for the best turkey and for the size that I needed. I just need it for three people and all the rest of the stores I went to they were too big," said Robin.
Whole frozen turkey prices are up about 20% year on year to an all-time high, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. So, if you're looking to save money on what might be the most expensive dish in your thanksgiving dinner, the experts say you may want to consider buying a smaller turkey.
"So I don't need a 20 pound turkey. I just need enough for the three of us I paid $13 for it and that's the perfect size," said Robin.
Leaders of Safeway stores here in Colorado say they've done their best to plan for the run on traditional Thanksgiving staples
"We try to anticipate those constraints early on and order accordingly. Now, you are still going to see some things on the shelves where maybe there's some holes," said Kris Staff of the Albertsons Safeway Denver Division.
Asking a store employee for help could also make a big difference in the final price you pay.
"They are also very well versed in what the specials are and so they can point those out as well. So, I would encourage our customers to lean on our associates and ask. We are always happy to help," said Staaf.
Have you considered a potluck approach this year? The experts say by taking a collective approach to cooking thanksgiving dinner and spreading out the cost of expensive dishes, everyone will end up saving time and money.
"You don't want to waste any of this food either with everything and struggling to keeping stuff on the shelf in the first place. Just don't let it go to waste man. You know? Potluck style I think is a great idea," said Dedra.