Inflation continues to wreak havoc on consumers as the holiday season approaches, leaving shoppers wondering how they will manage to put a turkey dinner on their tables this November.
Stew Leonard, president and CEO of the Stew Leonard's grocery store chain, stopped by on Monday's "Mornings with Maria" to address the matter, advising shoppers on ways they can adopt some smart, easy go-to tips to help slash costs and make sure they can afford the items they want the next time they head to their local grocery store.
"There's certain things you'll never change in people's life. You're going to have a turkey in the middle of your table at Thanksgiving," he said.
"The question is, can you supplement it with other things?"
"For instance, at our house, we have a turkey, but we also have salmon along with it, or you might want to have something less expensive like some burgers for the kids to fill them up a bit before they get to the main course," he told host Maria Bartiromo.
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Numbers from The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate turkey costs have sharply risen by 17.2% from last September and are predicted to reach record highs.
Leonard said, despite all the uproar, turkey is still the least expensive meat to serve as your main course around the holidays.
"It's still the least expensive protein," he said.
"I can't believe people complain turkeys are $1.50, $2, or $2.50 per pound, then they go over to the cold cuts, and they buy sliced cold cuts for like $12 per pound for turkey."
Food prices increased 13% year-over-year, Bartiromo noted, and the Consumer Price Index surged 8.2% last month, creating a cocktail of misery to devastate shoppers.
Still, Leonard urged families to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinners and focus more on bringing happiness to everyone around the table.
"Enjoy your Thanksgiving, but you also want to tighten your belt up a little bit and shop smart," he said.
In the past, Leonard also urged customers to combat inflation by turning to online store apps to find savings, taking advantage of weekly specials, buying from local businesses, and choosing the store's private label to help further cut costs.
He also told Bartiromo that inflation is challenging for producers who still aim to offer good deals to their customers, and said he is trying to split costs 50/50 with producers to help alleviate pressures on his customers.
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