Thanksgiving Meal Costs A Little Less This Year

If your financial state has you struggling for something to be thankful this year, take heart - at least your holiday meal won't cost as much as last year.

For the first time in almost a decade, the price of a Thanksgiving meal has dropped.
A traditional dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and all the fixings will cost an average of $42.91 for a group of 10 people, roughly 4% less than it did a year ago, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

It might be hard to imagine (I know I grit my teeth every time the grocery store clerk rings me up) but food prices have indeed declined as a result of lower energy costs and the effects of the recession. As an economist noted in a farm bureau press release, the cost of a Thanksgiving meal now costs less per person than a fast-food restaurant "value" meal. Such savings often goes unnoticed as we struggle to put food on the table while our boss is freezing wages and eliminating bonuses - or, worse, cutting our job. But, since this Turkey Day is all about giving thanks, there's no better time to focus on the positive.

First, this news should make it pretty clear that you can save money by cooking at home and packing your lunch rather than eating out. Sure, it's good to treat yourself once in a while, but you're not going to find financial stability by paying a restaurant every day.

Second, realize that while you can't significantly lower prices, you can lower their impact on your budget. How? By bringing home more bacon. Or, let me rephrase that - by keeping more bacon. With most Americans in debt, I think you'll agree that much of our money goes to paying our bills each month. Not just the mortgage and utilities, but the multiple credit cards, the car loans, the doctor's bills, and so on. And with many of those debts comes monthly interest, making it harder to pay off the loan - and, in some cases, allowing the principal balance to grow larger even as you make payments.

But bankruptcy is a guaranteed way to stop the debt cycle. By allowing a manageable way to lower debts - and thus reduce interest - filing for bankruptcy will eventually mean more money each month for you. Maybe you can use that extra dough to make the mortgage on time. Maybe it will come in handy at the grocery store. Maybe you'll stash it away for an emergency, to earn interest in the stock market or for that dream vacation you'll get to take someday. The point is, you should be able to decide how to spend your hard-earned money, not your creditors.

Want another reason to be thankful? It's free to determine a bankruptcy plan that's right for your family. Just try a complimentary personal debt analysis with one of our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers. So whatever the grocery store charges you, future holidays - and regular days - will be a lot more affordable.

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