Menu
Investing and Finance
Corporations Kicked From The Dow Jones
5 Most Overpriced Car Repairs
6 Ways To Make Your Home More Enticing To Buyers
Cars That Depreciate The Least
How To Cash In Your Heirlooms
Expensive Ways To Celebrate Halloween
Child Care Across The Country
Don't Sacrifice Saving Just For The Economy
Know Your Rights At Work
Emergency Funds That Are Right For Your Tax Bracket
How Much You Should Pay Your Kids For Allowance
How To Avoid Going Broke After Retirement
The High Price Of Speeding
Securitizing Your Health With ACOs
Obama And Romney's Education Policies Compared
The Benefits Of Retiring Later
The Hidden Costs Of Thanksgiving Dinner
Is The IPad Mini Worth The Money?
How Divorce Can Adversely Affect The Economy
Why Insourcing Is Appealing To Businesses In 2012
College Degrees Of The 1%
Best Layaway Plans For 2012
The Best Applications For Online Trading
5 Career-Changing Mistakes
The Hidden Costs Of Thanksgiving Dinner
With the skyrocketing price of corn, organic produce and specialty turkeys, your Thanksgiving dinner may become the priciest meal you eat all year. If you're planning to host this season's feast, be prepared for a variety of items to cost more than you remember.

The Problem with Corn
The USDA reported the average cost per bushel of corn in 2012 to 2013 would increase by $1.20 or more, bringing it over the six dollar mark. Why the increase? Combined with crop-damaging weather and supplies diverted to feed livestock, our quantity of edible, available corn has been reduced due to the rise in popularity of ethanol, a fuel made from corn. How will this impact your Thanksgiving dinner? Expect to pay more for this harvest staple in its original form, as well as in any product made from corn. Some common grocery items using corn include:

snack foods

salad dressings

soft drink sweeteners

hominy grits

flour products

candles

dyes

starch products

While it might be hard to imagine Thanksgiving dinner without corn, keep this pricey veggie (and products made from it) to a minimum for a small reduction in your grocery bill.

Designer Turkeys
As the star of Thanksgiving dinner, a bad turkey can ruin your night. Do you really need to spend $120 or more on boutique birds? While heritage turkeys are becoming the go-to choice for a tasty and trendy dinner, they're also a great way to spend your entire budget on a single item. Known for their near 50/50 ratio of white to dark meat, heritage turkeys are prized for their centuries-old bloodlines and distinctly gamey flavor (your average supermarket turkey has been bred to produce predominantly white meat). Do you prefer white meat? If you do, then heritage turkeys likely aren't worth the money. If you do like dark meat but can't afford the $7+ per pound price tag, consider buying two or more small, traditional-brand turkeys at around $1.50 per pound and slow roasting them. More turkeys mean more dark meat, and a slow roast method will help preserve juiciness.

Organic Side Dishes Will Cost You
As if the price increase of corn wasn't enough, other vegetables are likely to cost you more this year as well. While organic produce is always a great choice when it comes to your health, it's also an easy way to spend $50 or more on Thanksgiving produce alone. Instead of shelling out the extra cash or skipping your fruits and veggies altogether, check out which produce is worth the higher organic price.

The Dirty Dozen
These 12 fruits and vegetables feature the highest levels of pesticides, making pricier organic options actually worth the money:

Apples

Celery

Sweet Bell Peppers

Peaches

Strawberries

Nectarines

Grapes

Spinach

Lettuce

Cucumbers

Blueberries

Potatoes

The Clean 15
By contrast, these fruits and vegetables tend to have the lowest amount of pesticides on them, making it safer to buy them as non-organic at a lower price. Consider frozen or canned options for an even bigger price drop:

Onions

Sweet Corn

Pineapples

Avocado

Cabbage

Sweet Peas

Asparagus

Mangoes

Eggplant

Kiwi

Cantaloupe

Sweet Potatoes

Grapefruit

Watermelon

Mushrooms

Carefully selecting which fruits and vegetables are worth the higher costs can make a pretty big impact on your Thanksgiving grocery bill. If you're truly concerned with pesticides, then set aside a healthy chunk of your dinner budget for fresh, organic produce. Otherwise, stick to traditional frozen and canned versions of your favorite fruits and vegetables to see significant savings.

More Money-Saving Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

Provide ice cream with pies. It costs less, and will help fill up most guests before they want another slice!

Scope out sales at your local grocery store. Buying the ingredients for a pumpkin pie could cost you less than ordering one from a bakery. Just make the pies a day or two in advance so you're free to tend to the turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

Recycle your Halloween decor. Any pumpkins, branches, berries, acorns, leaves or other harvest decor can be left in place or simply shifted around to seamlessly transfer from Halloween to Thanksgiving.

If you do have to buy new decor for Thanksgiving, stick to a few simple statement pieces. One medium to large centerpiece on the dining table, one thick garland in your doorway and one cornucopia will look appropriate and stylish compared to dozens of small knickknacks scattered throughout the house. Invest in quality pieces and you'll be able to use them at Halloween and Thanksgiving for years to come.

Avoid fresh flowers or produce in your displays as they'll cost more and need to be replaced each year.

The Bottom Line
Expect to pay more for corn and products made with it, as well as any organic fruits and vegetables included in your holiday meal. Need big savings on your Thanksgiving dinner costs? Skip Heritage Turkeys and you'll likely save up to $100. Your average supermarket turkey won't have as much dark meat, but several smaller birds from your local store can easily be slow-cooked, providing plenty of delicious dark meat. Supplement pricey pies with cheaper sweets and invest in a few faux pumpkins and garlands to reuse year after year.

Print
6 U.S. Cities With The Most Expensive Parking Spots
Options For Last-Minute Thanksgiving Traveling
4 Big Businesses Built With Small Cash
Why More Americans Are Working From Home
Top Jobs For Tips
Christmas Gifts That Can Teach Your Child About Finance
How To Create A Financial Bucket List
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Mortgage Broker
Small Business Financing: Debt Or Equity?
Best Cyber Monday Deals For 2012
5 Things You Need To Know About Obamacare
The Rise Of For-Women Advisor Practices
Why Cyber Monday Is Better Than Black Friday
Is Cyber Monday The New Black Friday?
How To Monetize Your YouTube Channel
5 Ways To Make Your Home Remodels Pay Off
How To Use The 4-Box Strategy For Retirement Income
Beware These Disaster-Related Scams
3 Jobs Few People Want
Average Cost Of An American Christmas
How To Make Your Holiday Giving Count
3 Best And Worst Gift Cards For 2012
What Lotto Winners Spend Their Money On
Is Striking The Best Option?
Share 0 Disqus Biggest Layoffs Of All Time
Overlooked Tax Deductions For 2012
How To Succeed In Your Next Performance Review
The Finances Of The Global Middle Class
Menu
Reasons Not To Change Careers In 2013
Tax Advice For Victims Of Superstorm Sandy
3 Richest Pirates Of All Time
6 Small Business Tax Changes For 2012
How Disasters Can Benefit Small Businesses
Things You Didn't Know Could Get You Fired
How To Pick Valuable Online Classes
The Best Black Friday Deals For 2012
Does Black Friday Shopping Really Save You Money?
U.S. Cities With The Largest Parking Fines
When Young Athletes Receive Too Much Money Too Soon
How To Select A Financial Advisor
Why You Should Christmas Shop Early
Tax Credits For Families
Ways To Get Free Christmas Gifts
5 Most Expensive Cities In The U.S. For Car Insurance
4 Most Expensive Cities In The U.S. For Gas
Stores That Start Black Friday Sales Early
How To Decorate For Christmas Without Going Broke
Why The Price Of Crude Oil Is Dropping
Reasons Renting Is Better Than Buying
5 Top Ways New Advisors Can Land Clients
8 Software Skills Currently In Demand
How To Make Extra Money At Christmas Time