Cost of traditional Thanksgiving meal hits five year low

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Cost of traditional Thanksgiving meal hits five year low: John Rawlins reports during Action News at 4pm on November 20, 2017. (WPVI)

Many of us are working overtime this week getting the house ready for the arrival of Thanksgiving guests.

And of course, that means also means preparing for the main event, the meal itself.

The Wegman's market in Paoli, frozen turkeys are selling for .29 cents a pound, compared to .49 cents last year. For fresh turkeys, the cost has gone down to .99 cents a pound from $1.29 last year.

The American Farm Bureau says the cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal down to a five year low, which is good news for Mary Cullen from Downingtown who is expecting a crowd Thursday.

"Close to 16 people. Turkey close to 22 pounds but I think I'm going to do a ham side," she said.

The traditional menu remains unchanged, but where we are eating and who is preparing the feast is changing. It used to be almost impossible to find a restaurant on Thanksgiving, but not anymore.

At Teca in Newtown Square, customers keep asking if they will be open..

"After you start to get so many questions like that from your customers, you start to think about an opportunity for more business and then the light bulb goes off," said Michael Buono.

Buono says at least a dozen folks are picking up dinner for home. Prepared meals for home is a significant trend.

Wegman's will see hundreds of meals go out the door Thursday. One reason could be that cooking a turkey can be intimidating.

"And they do tell you, they're afraid. Afraid to cook a turkey. They are afraid cook a turkey, number one. They're afraid to make a mistake, they're afraid to purchase something and not do it right and they want to spend time with their family," said Patti Hindsley from Wegman's.

At Home Cooked in Paoli, the small staff here are focused on stuffing today, from vegetables to hand cut cubes of bread.

So what are people buying?

"They are buying their time back. Time that would have been spent planning, shopping, chopping. Time in the kitchen, time away from their kids, time away from their friends. So you know they're buying their time and they're buying confidence that they're buying really delicious food without having to do all the work," said Claire Guarcino from Home Cooked.

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