Nov. 26, 2008 -- When American families gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving, they may not all realize that the spread is likely to cost 5 percent more than it did last year.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost this year for a feast for 10 is $44.61 -- up $2.35 from last year.
Of all the trimmings, the turkey itself has risen the most -- up $1.46 this year.
A dozen prepared rolls will cost you 31 cents more and 12 ounces of fresh cranberries is up 26 cents. Additionally, pumpkin pie mix went up 21 cents and pie shells will run 18 cents more.
Stuffing, relish trays, cream, green peas and sweet potatoes have all gone up a few cents. Milk, on the other hand, has gone down 10 cents and miscellaneous ingredients like onions, eggs, sugar and flour are down a combined total of 60 cents.
But even with the jump in cost, a Thanksgiving meal may still be cheaper than most meals.
"If we take it and break it apart per person, that's less than $4.50 per individual," Stefphanie Gambrell of the American Farm Bureau told "Good Morning America." "That's cheaper than you can get a value meal at most restaurants these days."
But there are ways to save even more.
For one, cooking from scratch can carve down costs. Many of the Farm Bureau's estimates are for prepared foods, but if you can make your own rolls or pie crust, you will save big time.
You can also save by substituting. If you normally have white rolls with your feast, you can still improvise with other sides that might be on sale.
Also, cut out dishes that were not big hits during past holidays.
Finally, buy the right amount of food for your number of guests. Web sites, such as www.instructables.com, can help you with your calculations.