Lower Cost Thanksgiving Dinner

This year’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be easier on the wallet, with the price the lowest in five years, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The farm organization found the price of the turkey and all the trimmings for the classic Thanksgiving Day meal for 10 people will cost 1.5 percent less than last year, or an average of $49.12. That is down 75 cents from last year’s average cost of $49.87.

“The last time Thanks-giving was this cheap was 2013,” John Newton, the federation’s market intelligence director. “The fact you can have that classic meal for under $5 per person says a lot about the U.S. farmer and the harvest they produce every year.”

Nationally, the average cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal as tracked by the federation has gone down for two-consecutive years. Newton said this year’s decline was led by falling turkey prices. 

The biggest single decline this year for the national cost is the price of the 16-pound turkey, down 36 cents to an average of $22.38 from $22.74 last year. That’s a decline of 1.6 percent. Some supermarkets use the turkeys essentially as a “loss leader” to drive sales in stores for other holiday food items

Other special items on the dinner table that are down nationally this year include sweet potatoes, rolls, green peas and 9-inch pie shells. Three pounds of sweet potatoes were $3.52, down 2.2 percent from last year. The price of a dozen rolls fell 8.1 percent, pie shells dropped by 5.4 percent and a gallon of whole milk dropped by 5.7 percent.

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