Thanksgiving Dinner *Should* Cost You Less Than Five Bucks A Person

  • According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual report, a Thanksgiving meal for 10 should cost about $48.90 this year, a 22-cent decrease from last year, which makes it less than five bucks a person
  • The most expensive item will be the turkey at $1.36 a pound, or $21.71 for a 16-pound bird
  • This price also includes sides like veggies, rolls, green peas, stuffing and sweet potatoes, as well as pie

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, supermarkets are bound to be packed with folks picking up all their goodies for a great holiday feast, and anyone who’s ever hosted a Thanksgiving meal knows it can get quite costly. Well, don’t tell that to the American Farm Bureau Federation, because they’ve come out with their 33rd annual report on what a Thanksgiving meal should cost, and yet again it is ridiculously low.

According to the group, the total cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 should be $48.90, which comes out to less than $5 a person, and is down from $49.12 last year, a 22 cent decrease. The most expensive item will, of course, be the turkey at $1.36 a pound, or $21.72 for a 16-pound bird, which is down 3% from last year, making it the lowest turkey price since 2014.

As for the rest of the cheap meal, it includes:

  • A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix - $3.33 (an increase from last year)
  • A gallon of milk - $2.92 (a decrease from last year)
  • A one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots -$0.75 (an decrease from last year)
  • A dozen brown-and-serve rolls - $2.25 (a decrease from last year)
  • Two nine-inch pie shells - $2.47 (an increase from last year)
  • One pound of green peas - $1.47 (a decrease from last year)
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries - $2.65(an increase from last year)
  • A half-pint of whipping cream - $2.08 (same as last year)
  • A 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing - $2.87(an increase from last year)
  • A three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes - $3.39 (a decrease from last year)
  • Miscellaneous items (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour) - $3.01 (an increase from last year)
  • This year the Farm Bureau also looked into what it would cost if you added ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans into the mix, and it does raise the price slightly. That would bring the price for a dinner for 10 up to $61.72, or a little over $6 a person.
  • Sure, those numbers seem absurdly low, but believe it or not, the group came up with their estimates based on information from 166 shoppers who checked grocery prices in 37 states. Obviously none of them went to Whole Foods.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

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