The Cost of Thanksgiving: Which Juneau grocery offers the best deal?

It’s a holiday about food. And thanks. But mostly food. (Mobile readers may view the infographic here.)

In 2014, an estimated 46 million turkeys made their way from American farms to American tables, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

There were parcels of potatoes, bushels of beans, stores of stuffing and pyramids of pie, too.

In Juneau, the first step toward Thanksgiving dinner usually starts at one of the capital city’s six major grocery stores.

At the Empire, we hear a lot about which store offers the best deals. Plenty of stores advertise with us to promote those deals. So we decided to put them to the test: Which grocery is the cheapest for our Thanksgiving essentials?

On Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., we stopped in at Juneau’s six biggest grocery stores — Safeway, Super Bear, Fred Meyer, Walmart, Costco and Foodland IGA — to compare the prices of 13 common Thanksgiving food items.

Of the 13 items, Walmart was cheapest for seven, Costco was cheapest for four, and Fred Meyer was cheapest for two.

We attempted to compare the same brand across all stores. We looked at Stove Top stuffing, for example, and matched same-size containers. If the same size wasn’t available at all stores, we adjusted.

We wrote down the list price for each item — if it was on sale, we wrote down that lower price.

Several stores were offering promotional deals, such as a free turkey for spending a certain amount at the store. We did not take those into consideration.

Every year since 1986, the American Farm Bureau Federation has conducted a nationwide price survey of “classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table.”

In 32 states, the federation sends out volunteers to gather prices on a handful of items sufficient to serve a Thanksgiving dinner of 10. Three of our items were on their list as well, and you can see the results below.

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