Why your Thanksgiving dinner will cost you more this year

Weather has a significant impact on the supply chain

We're less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving and many Americans have already made a trip to the supermarket to stock up on food for the big meal, but due to a variety of reasons, you'll be paying a bit more this year.

Many of us have seen ships backed up in ports waiting to deliver goods. The weather has a significant impact on the supply chain even in regular times, according to Breezemeter General Manager Paul Walsh.

Walsh joined FOX Weather on Sunday morning to explain how the weather affects the prices you pay at the grocery store.

"Everything we eat is influenced by the weather," he said. "If you think about the equation in terms of what drives price, it's supply and demand. So the weather impacts the supply, it impacts the base from a growing perspective and also a transportation perspective."

If there are significant weather events, that affects how much a company has to sell. 

"On the demand side, that's all around a holiday (like Thanksgiving), but also the weather has an impact on all of us every day in terms of driving what we're going to be wanting and eating," Walsh said. "So when you put those two together and there's ever any sort of pinch in that, it has a direct impact on pricing."

Walsh said that in general, most people could expect to pay about 5 percent more this year.

"Five percent doesn't really seem like a lot, but if you break it up by region and by product, that's when we're going to start seeing the impact when you start going to the grocery store, he said.

And when you add in what we've all been through with the COVID-19 pandemic, Walsh said everything has been impacted.

"It's unprecedented," he said. "It's literally unprecedented. I don't think in the history of the country we've ever seen something this disruptive."

Walsh said the pandemic has impacted both sides of the supply and demand equation.

"We've all been kept in our homes or our basements for the last 18 months, so we're experiencing cabin fever," Walsh said. "This is like the mother of all cabin fever. Everybody wants to get out. Everybody wants to spend."

So, Walsh said, there's a considerable increase in the demand for products, but there's been a reduction in supply. 

"You put those two together, and then all of a sudden, you've got prices starting to go up," he said.

So, how can you plan to try and keep your costs down? Walsh said it's all about pre-planning.

"It's all about going out and buying your products," he said. "My wife went shopping last week and bought a frozen turkey just because we don't know what that supply is going to look like as we get closer to Thanksgiving. And that's going to be the base for winter and the holiday season."

Walsh advises people to buy their supplies as early as possible and be aware that it will cost you more, and you may not find everything you're looking for.

"The silver lining is that this, too, shall pass. It may take a while, but by the time that we get into next year, maybe even into the first quarter or second quarter, things will start to level off a little bit," Walsh said.