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Americans Saving On Turkey To Spend On Travel

Thanksgiving dinner

The week before Thanksgiving is like Black Friday for grocery stores. Americans are expected to spend $2.9B on their Thanksgiving tables in 2017, including $49.12 on dinner alone (for a gathering of 10), according to a new report from CBRE. That is a 1.5% decrease from 2016. The American Farm Bureau credits the price decline to an oversupply of turkeys and prices for sweet potatoes, rolls, green peas and pie shells. 

Texas is better off than most. Regionally, dinner for 10 will remain lower than the national average at $46.75, a 4.3% drop over the prior year.

While Americans may be saving at the grocery store, they are shelling out for travel. According to AAA, 50.9 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving (a 3.3% increase over 2016), with nine out of 10 people making the trek by car rather than through the air. This is expected to be the highest travel volume since 2005.

The average price of Thanksgiving round-trip airfare is expected to increase 4%, coming in at an average of $325 according to a survey from travel comparison site Hopper. 

For those driving, note that yearlong incremental price increases have resulted in a national average price of $2.56/gallon for gas, a 39-cent, 18% increase over last year. 

The retail windfall will come on Black Friday. The National Retail Federation and International Council of Shopping Centers are both expecting an upbeat holiday shopping frenzy this year with total retail sales increasing 4% to $682B. Holiday shoppers are expected to spend an average of $967.13 this year (including gifts and decorations), with a large majority planning to research online before hitting the mall.