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Inflation is driving up Thanksgiving costs. Here are ways to save.

Inflation and bird flu raise turkey prices
Ways to save as inflation and bird flu raise turkey prices and costs of Thanksgiving staples 02:41

Inflation has made everything more expensive, including Thanksgiving. The meal this year is going to be the costliest ever — "without a doubt," said Emily Weinstein, food & cooking editor of The New York Times.

Household items used to make some Thanksgiving staples are gobbling up more money. The price of eggs is up 43%, butter is up 26.7% and flour is up 24.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And the cost of the holiday bird is up 17% as turkey farmers deal with a one-two punch of soaring costs and the highly contagious avian flu, which is on par for one of its deadliest years yet. It has wiped out at least 6 million turkeys, hiking prices even further.

Dave Jones, of Jones Turkey Farm in Cabot, Pennsylvania, an hour outside of Pittsburgh, told "CBS Mornings" a lot of work goes into raising turkeys. But Jones, whose farm has been in the family for three generations, has never been challenged like he has this year. 

"It tops everything. Everything doubled this spring," he said.

At Jones Turkey Farm, in Cabot, Pa., the cost of raising turkeys has practically doubled from last year.  CBS News

From the feed to the fertilizer, the cost to run the farm has gone up, which means the cost for customers has, too. He said he had to raise the price of his turkeys by 50 cents per pound this year. 

"I should have raised it a dollar a pound," he said, "but at that point I figured I would lose too much business and I'd have turkeys left over."

So, what are some ways to curb costs? Weinstein's tips start with the turkey. 

"Just buy exactly the size turkey you need," she said. "Don't buy a giant one hoping for leftovers."

She also suggested highlighting vegetable side dishes over meat, and to use frozen ones instead of fresh.

Another way to cut costs is to spread the cost of the spread. 

"If you've ever considered doing a Thanksgiving potluck, this is the year to do it," Weinstein said. "Ask your loved ones to bring dishes. Everyone will be happy to be involved."

Also, start shopping for non-perishables right now. Retailers like Walmart are pricing Thanksgiving staples the same as last year, and Aldi is "rewinding" prices of Thanksgiving items back to 2019.

But hurry – Thanksgiving is just 10 days away.

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