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Ethanol blends helping consumers save 22 cents/gal., and food costs down about 1% from year-ago levels.

November 21, 2018

2 Min Read
Give thanks for lower fuel, food prices

Nearly 50 million travelers will take to America’s roads this Thanksgiving holiday, and ethanol is helping lower the price they pay for gasoline. At the same time, a new survey shows that the cost of Thanksgiving dinner is expected to hit an eight-year low.

According to AAA, 48.5 million travelers will drive for Thanksgiving, nearly 5% more than last year. Based on a Renewable Fuels Assn. (RFA) analysis using the most recent monthly data, 10% ethanol blends (E10) are helping U.S. consumers save 22 cents/gal. at the pump. In fact, ethanol is on pace to reduce household spending on gasoline by $34 billion this year, or $270 per household.

The discount is even greater for 15% ethanol blends (E15), a fuel that is legally approved for more than 90% of the cars and trucks on the road today. Based on the RFA analysis, E15 could help U.S. consumers save 27 cents/gal. at the pump. If E15 were adopted nationwide, the fuel would be expected to reduce household spending on gasoline by $42 billion this year, or $335 per household.

Consumers are not only saving money at the pump, but they’re also saving money on Thanksgiving dinner. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey, the classic Thanksgiving meal for a family of 10 will average $48.90 this year, less than $5 per person and down about 1% from prior-year levels. Since 2015, the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner has declined steadily and is now at the lowest level since 2010.

Related:Cost of Thanksgiving dinner down for third straight year

“As a record number of travelers are expected to hit the road this holiday week, they can be thankful that homegrown, renewable ethanol is helping to save them money at the pump,” RFA president and chief executive officer Geoff Cooper said. “Meanwhile, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner continues to fall, thoroughly debunking the ridiculous old argument that increased use of field corn for ethanol production would lead to higher prices for meat, milk, eggs and other staple foods. In fact, annual food price inflation has averaged just 2.2% since the [Renewable Fuel Standard] was expanded in 2007, compared to an average of 3.0% in the preceding 25-year period.”

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