Christmas dinner could be more expensive this year as cost of frozen turkeys jumps 11%

FAMILIES planning to sit down to a turkey feast this Christmas may end up paying more than last year due to a shortage of the birds.

The price of frozen turkeys on the shelves last week was up 10.8 per cent compared to this time last year, according to The Grocer magazine.

This means the price per kilogram (kg) has risen by around 18p from from £1.68 to £1.86.

That's an 83p price hike on a 4.6kg frozen bird, which is the same weight as Iceland's easy carve turkey with streaky bacon, which last year won Good Housekeeping magazine's turkey taste test – although it's not back in stock yet for this winter.

But it's not just frozen birds that are affected, as The Grocer reports that fresh skinless and boneless turkey prices are up by an even bigger 17.5 per cent compared to last year.

This means the price per kg has risen by 70p from £4 to £4.70, although as you're not paying for the whole bird the weight is less to begin with.

How to cut supermarket costs

WE spoke to Hannah Maundrell, editor of Money.co.uk, about how you can cut the cost of your shopping bills:

  • Write yourself a list – Only buy items that you need. If it isn't on your list, don't put it in the trolley
  • Create a budget – Work out a weekly budget for your food shopping
  • Never shop hungry – You are far more likely to buy more food if your tummy is rumbling
  • Don't buy pre-chopped veggies or fruit – The extra they'll charge for chopping can be eye watering
  • Use social media – Follow your favourite retailers to find out about the latest deals
  • Be disloyal – You may want to go to different stores to find the best bargains
  • Check the small print – It’s always worth checking the price per kg/lb/litre when comparing offers so you’re making a like for like decision as a bigger box won't necessarily mean you get more
  • Use your loyalty cards – Don’t be afraid to sign up to them all. They all work slightly differently – work out what bonus suits you better and remember to trade in your points for additional rewards.

An M&S ready to roast turkey breast joint for four people, for example, weighs in at around 800g.

The Grocer says the problem is that high temperatures over the summer caused more turkey eggs than normal to be lost, which means there are fewer turkeys to go around this Christmas.

Paul Kelly, managing director of supplier Kelly Turkeys, told the trade magazine that around 10 per cent of France's annual egg output was wiped out, leaving UK breeders struggling to source enough eggs to fulfil supermarket orders.

Around 25 per cent of all eggs used by British turkey farmers reportedly come from France.

Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at trade body the British Retail Consortium, told The Sun: “This is an example of retailers having to deal with extremes of weather, which will be further intensified by climate change.

"Retailers are working hard to ensure customers can enjoy a quality, affordable Christmas dinner.”

The Sun has asked both Kelly Turkeys and Mintec, which compiled the data for the The Grocer, to confirm this and we'll update this story as soon as we get a response.

We've also reached out to turkey manufacturer Bernard Matthews.

Last year, the cost of Christmas dinner as a whole rose by almost 6 per cent at 17p a head.

While only last week we reported how a beef shortage has hit the UK, "pushing up supermarket prices" after protests by Irish farmers.

And your cup of tea might also get more expensive due to rising tea prices caused by Kenyan droughts.

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