CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The countdown to Thanksgiving is upon us.

Families across the country will be gathering, but this year most are paying more for turkeys and everything else.

They’re preparing with caution because the U.S. government reports food prices are up 9.5% to 10.5%. Despite the high costs, families are still excited to celebrate.

“Yes, the turkey and the ham, the prices have increased for sure in the past few years,” Clinique Carmon said.

Richard Oliver, who works in the meat department at Harvest Market in Champaign, says the key to success this year was buying early.

“Buying things prior when the markets are down, you just really got stay tuned to what the markets are,” Oliver said.

He says they’ve seen a lot of special orders and requests as the holiday draws closer. But it’s more than just the food that brings families together.

“Getting to see everyone, we all kind of huddled in to our little Covid caves, if you want to call it that, the last few years and it will be really nice to see both families on the same year,” Darcie Reckers said.

Drew Adamek was at the store shopping with his son.

“I happen to like Thanksgiving, but for us it’s a nice way to take a break, a family break,” Adamek said.

CBS News reports Walmart and Kroger have cut prices on turkeys and other holiday essentials.

“A lot of beef tenderloins, of course you’ve got your turkeys, we do a very good deal on the fresh local turkeys so that’s a number one for us right there,” Oliver said.

Darcie Reckers had one final message before the big feast.

“I hope everybody can get out and see their families, be safe with their travels and enjoy the day,” Reckers said.

Oliver also said his staff keeps a close eye on their daily cuts to help control shrink and loss of certain meats.