Thanksgiving Dinner *Should* Cost You Less Than $6 A Person


Man serving turkey dish at table

Photo: Stone RF

Most Thanksgiving hosts will agree that having friends and family over for the holiday can be quite expensive and that’s probably true regardless of how big or small your celebration is this year. But don’t tell that to the American Farm Bureau Federation, because they’ve come out with their 36th 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 $53.31.
  • That comes out to less than $6 a person, but it is an increase of $6.41 from last year, or about 14%.
  • The most expensive item will, of course, be the turkey at about $1.50 a pound, or $23.99 for a 16-pound bird, which is up 24% from last year.

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

  • A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix - $3.64 (an increase from last year)
  • A gallon of milk - $3.30 (an increase from last year)
  • A one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots -$0.82 (an increase from last year)
  • A dozen brown-and-serve rolls - $2.05 (an increase from last year)
  • Two nine-inch pie shells - $2.91 (an increase from last year)
  • One pound of green peas - $1.54 (an increase from last year)
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries - $2.98 (an increase from last year)
  • A half-pint of whipping cream - $1.78 (an increase from last year)
  • A 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing - $2.29 (a decrease from last year)
  • A three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes - $3.56 (an increase from last year)
  • Misc. ingredients - $3.45 (an increase from last 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 $68.72, or close to $7 a person, an increase of 14% over last year

Sure, those numbers seem absurdly low, but believe it or not, the group came up with their estimates based on information from 218 shoppers who checked grocery prices in 50 states. Obviously, none of them went to Whole Foods.

Source:American Farm Bureau Federation


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