A bargain at any price

By Chuck Kajer

Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go...

I remember learning that song in elementary school. It was a sure sign that winter was on the way. I'm guessing that kids still learn this Thanksgiving song in school - though it is just a guess.

For most of my 51 years, I've never had to travel over the river or through the woods for Thanksgiving dinner. I've always lived a few blocks away. One thing I knew I could always count on was a good meal. The Thanksgiving meal is purely an American creation. At Christmas or Easter, Americans often hang on to some sort of ethnic tradition, but most everyone enjoys a good Thanksgiving turkey diner.

The cost of that dinner is up a bit this year, according to information from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings increased about 1.3 percent in price during 2010.

AFBF's 25th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year's feast for 10 is $43.47. That is an increase of 56 cents from last year's national average. This year's meal is actually $1.14 cheaper than what shoppers paid two years ago, when the total was $44.61.

While this year's meal remains a bargain

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