South Dakota grocers find ways to lower Thanksgiving costs

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 9:26 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With Thanksgiving just a week away, families are preparing for their big meals. Reports indicate that Thanksgiving dinners cost less this year compared to last.

Those reports were from data from the American Farm Bureau. The average cost for a full Thanksgiving feast in the United States is just over $61, down nearly three dollars from last year.

Averages don’t tell the full story, and locally, grocery stores are getting creative to give shoppers a better price.

Competition among grocery stores is fierce. With inflation, a higher priority has been put on lower prices to bring in shoppers. But the cost that stores pay for inventory has been higher, too.

Places like Sunshine Foods in Sioux Falls have gotten creative to give customers deals.

“I think they are down a little bit from last year, so people are able to get a little bit more,” said supervisor John Yarman. “Soup’s on sale right now, so people are getting that as well and the stuffing. People are able to get more with what they have right now.”

One deal that County Fair in Mitchell has made available to customers is a free half-pound turkey for every “saver card” filled out during the year.

“Each of our stores are run independently,” said Store Director Chad Lorensen. “Here in Mitchell, we use something called the “Saver Stamp Program”, so we have customers that save Saver Cards year round so that way when it comes to this time, we are actually giving them the turkey free.”

Of the Turkey Day items, Lorensen and Yarman said that the price of the Turkey itself tends to fluctuate the most. Every store is different, but County Fair in Mitchell boasts an average cost for a Thanksgiving meal for four with all the fixings for $26.27.

“We are actively looking for all different kinds of deals that are out there that we can pass on the savings on to the customers,” Lorensen said. “We know that it’s a really difficult time right now with how expensive things are getting.”

The influx of customers this time of year is a welcome challenge, and it’s met with an emphasis on customer service.

“Basically, just one at a time. You know, everyone gets the same service as ever,” Yarman said. “There might be a line, but we’ll just get through it no problem.”

“We’re always trying to get more people up on the front end to try and help those customers get through and alleviate the time spent in the grocery store,” Lorensen said.

On top of deals and customer service, another thing that Sunshine Foods in Sioux Falls is doing to help with business is remaining open on Thanksgiving since not many are doing so. They will be open from 6:00 a.m. until noon on Thanksgiving in case you forget anything for your meal.