NEW YORK (PIX11) – The turkey at Thanksgiving is front and center on dinner tables during the holiday, but this year it may be harder to have the main bird as part of the meal. 

That’s because the cost has increased nearly 28% per pound from last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can thank inflation for the recent rise in food prices.

“I paid $15 for 3 pork chops the other day – $5 for each pork chop and I said ‘what?!,’” said Bronx resident Elizabeth Cintron.

New York City Chef Rosaura Hambery is also a couponing expert. She too has noticed the steep prices at the supermarket and suggests if you don’t love turkey, don’t buy it. 

“We might have to forget the turkey because the turkey is very expensive right now,” Hambery added.

She suggests selecting a different cut of meat — like chicken, a more budget-friendly bird — and focusing on the side dishes. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and boxes of stuffing are still relatively affordable. 

Her money-saving advice: Check multiple store circular flyers and shop around. 

“And then stores have their own digital coupons which you create an account with online … you’ll be able to combine those with newspaper coupons for double the savings,” added Hambery.

Another great piece of advice: “Start planning out your menu early so you can be on the lookout for when the ingredients go on sale and buy them at the right time.”

Still, some families may be priced out of affording a meal. 

“We’ve never seen such a big demand, with the prices of food people just keep coming in and letting us know they can’t survive,” said Taina Rodriguez, the associate director at Part of the Solution.

Part of the Solution or P.O.T.S. is a Bronx-based resource center and food pantry. The organization served more than 700 families this time last year but expects to see more people for this Thanksgiving. 

“We do recognize we won’t be able to serve everybody and they will be people turned away,” added Rodriguez.

Pantries like P.O.T.S. are hoping more donations come in time for the holidays.