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Shoppers May Be Paying More For Thanksgiving Dinner

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Many of us will soon be filling our grocery carts with all the fixings to make a Thanksgiving dinner. And when it comes to the main dish — the turkey — you’ll find there’s not much to be thankful for when you go through the checkout line.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports you may be paying more, if wholesale costs are any indication.

September’s consumer price index shows retail prices up 1.4 percent from last year; with some items, like wholesale turkeys, up to about $1 a pound, or up about 20 percent.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that high cost will be passed on to you at the grocery store. It comes down to strategy.

Jeff Norkiewicz, of Dominick’s, says just because the cost of turkey is up, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will pay more.

“We know the center of the plate is going to be the turkey, so we want to make sure you have a reason to come to Dominick’s, and it’s going to start with the center of the plate,” said Norkiewicz.

Shopper Rosemary Fletter says discounts are vital for Thanksgiving.

“For me, they’re very important because I have a big family,” said Fletter. “So I have to buy a big turkey so it has to be on sale.”

CBS 2 shopped for some Thanksgiving staples at a local Dominick’s.

Growing demand for sweet potatoes is likely to raise prices this year. Economists say, among the bargains, are cranberries. Thanks to a bumper crop, that will benefit consumers. Less demand for white potatoes has brought their price down by about 4 percent, say economists.

But some of the shoppers we talked to say Thanksgiving is an occasion to splurge.

“This is a special one-day event. And I would want to do the best and wherever I could find the best, that’s where I would buy,” said shopper Annelies Podmajersky.

So some shoppers say they’re going to get what they always get, regardless of prices. Some holidays are worth the splurge.

It will also cost more to cook the dinner this year, natural gas and electricity are up slightly.

Dinner aside, Thanksgiving travel may cost more, too. Gasoline is 5 percent higher than last fall. As for wine and spirits, expect some deals, especially on higher priced wine.

One retailer said when things are good, Chicagoans buy a lot of booze. And when things are bad — they buy even more.

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