You don't have to break the bank to provide a Thanksgiving feast for a gathering of friends and family.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, which used data from volunteer shoppers in 37 states, feeding a table of 10 on Thursday will cost you less in 2018 than it did last year.

In fact, the grand total is at its lowest level since 2010.

New Jersey's supermarket prices tend to top the national average, but the bill is still modest in the Garden State — for a menu including: a 16-pound turkey; sweet potatoes; cubed stuffing; green peas; rolls; fresh cranberries; a relish tray; pie shells; whipping cream; pumpkin pie mix; milk; and other items such as butter, eggs and coffee.

Nationally, the price of a meal for 10 was calculated to run shoppers $48.90 — less than $5 per person. That's a 22-cent decrease from 2017's price.

"Inflation has averaged about plus 2 percent, but on the food side we've seen lower prices for a number of years," said AFBF Chief Economist John Newton. "A lot of that's due to lower commodity prices that farmers ultimately receive for the grain and the livestock that they raise."

The big-ticket item — the bird — rings up at an average of $21.71, down 3 percent from last year. The survey also revealed price decreases for milk, sweet potatoes, peas and a dozen rolls.

"Thanks to an ample supply, turkey remains affordable for consumers, which helps keep the overall cost of the dinner reasonably priced as well," Newton said.

A trip to an Ocean County supermarket found a turkey was at the same price level as in November 2017. But items such as milk and pie shells, among others, were listed at cheaper prices than last year.

In 2017, New Jersey's grand total came in about $2 above the national average.

Supermarkets across the Garden State hold promotions that allow shoppers to earn a free turkey or other holiday meal if they spend a certain amount of money leading up to Turkey Day.

 

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.