Unlike markets, turkey dinner up 5.5 percent

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates a Thanksgiving meal for the average gathering of 10 will cost $44.61 this year, up 5.5 percent from last year.

But the cost is less than the same meal 20 years ago, when stripping out inflation.

The turkey-centric holiday comes as beef and chicken prices are soaring. Meat producers are struggling with higher costs for key ingredients such as corn, soybeans and oil.

But while turkey producers face all the same pressures, they don't have the same economies of scale and have to plan a year in advance for the one day a year they count on most.

So watch out next year.