Thursday, November 16, 2023

A little bit of good news: The cost of this year's Thanksgiving dinner has declined slightly from 2022

Something most Americans can be grateful for: Serving up this year's Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for 10 will be slighty less expensive than last year's painful prices. The average price of this year's meal rings in at $61.17, down 4.5%, compared to 2022's, $64.05, but it's still 25% more than the 2019's cost of $53.31, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's 38th annual survey.

The dramatic decrease in turkey prices is the main reason the overall meal cost decreased, and waiting to purchase your turkey until closer to the big day could bring the cost down further. "The average price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35. That is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% from last year," AFBF reports. "Farm Bureau' volunteer shoppers' checked prices Nov. 1-6, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices. According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys declined further during the second week of November. . . . Consumers who have not purchased a turkey may find additional savings in the days leading up to Thanksgiving."

With a few exceptions, most Thanksgiving dinner prices decreased:
  • 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%)
  • 14 ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)
AFBF analysis revealed regional differences in the cost of the meal. The price for the classic meal was the most affordable in the Midwest - $58.66, followed by the South - $59.10, the West - $63.89, and the Northeast - $64.38. The expanded meal (classic meal plus boneless ham, Russet potatoes and green beans) was the most affordable in the Midwest - $81.83, followed by the South - $82.61, the West - $87.75, and the Northeast - $88.43.

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