NIXA, Mo. – Thanksgiving is just a week away and it is going to be a costly one. Experts have been predicting higher prices this year for the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

“The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving tables, the turkey, a 16 pound turkey, will cost about $28.96 this year,” Missouri Farm Bureau President Garrett Hawkins said. “That’s about 21 percent higher than what we saw last year. It costs more to feed these birds along with the processing, the packaging and the transportation of these birds to get to your grocery store for you to choose from.”

For families wanting to save a few bucks, there are some options this holiday season. One thing Hawkins suggests is looking for deals at your local grocery stores.

“If you see a good sale, grab that bird and go ahead and throw it in the deep freeze,” Hawkins said.

One store holding sales prior to the holiday is Harter House. The grocery store is holding sales for the next two weeks.

“We’ve tried to keep a lot of your main stuff real close to what people would have seen in the last couple of years,” Nixa Harter House Pricing Coordinator Cody Crosby said. “So we can pass the savings to the customers. The store makes a little bit less but it’s, you know, makes for a little bit better ticket ring for the customer.”

Crosby said Harter House’s Choice Turkey’s are running at $1.19 per pound. The store said some canned cranberries are just $0.99. Things like stuffing and sodas are also on sale this year.

For people not wanting to pay more for a turkey, there are other substitutes families can make.

“Chicken has come down quite a bit [in price],” Crosby said. “You can get a chicken breast or even a whole chicken and bake that. We have turkey breasts and turkey legs that are just smaller portions. They are going to be a little bit higher. But overall it’s a little bit less.”

“I’ve heard some people go into a totally different direction and provide pizza for their family,” Hawkins said. “Beef is always a great option as well, but certainly pay attention. Look to see what’s going to fit within the budget.”

Shoppers are also splitting the meal between family members to avoid a costly grocery bill.

“Usually we figure out who’s best at something, and that’s what they bring,” Judy Cattanach said. She shopped at Nixa Harter House Thursday for Thanksgiving dinner. “It really works out because it’s really expensive to buy at all. I know I used to have to buy it when the kids were little. And now that they’re gotten bigger, it’s nice. They split the bill.”

The Missouri Farm Bureau said families can also get creative this year when it comes to making Thanksgiving dinner.

“Think about what you can do from a homemade standpoint to also pinch the dollar,” Hawkins said.

But, Hawkins said it helps farmers to buy from the store.

“We can look right down the road and know that there is a farm and ranch family that’s working hard to take care of all of us,” Hawkins said. “About $0.08 goes back to the farmer, and rancher. All the rest of that food dollar are costs associated with transportation, processing, marketing, and ultimately the delivery of that product, the presentation of that product in the grocery store.”

All Harter House will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.