Americans to Spend $1.05 Billion on Thanksgiving Turkeys

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Some 85% of Americans will celebrate the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday with a turkey dinner. About 45 million turkeys will give their all to become part of the festivities.

With an average price of $23.44 for a 16-pound turkey, Americans will spend about $1.05 billion for their main course. Although that sounds like a lot, it is just $10,000 more than we’ll spend on Christmas candy.

The data were reported Monday morning by information service and comparative platform Finder.com, and includes only the cost of a turkey. All the trimmings will drive the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner even higher.

The researchers also expect Americans to increase their credit card debt to help pay for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays this year. Last year Americans rang up $733 billion in new credit card debt in the fourth quarter, and the researchers expect an even larger amount to be added this year.

Michelle Hutchison, a money expert at Finder.com, said:

Thanksgiving is a special day for enjoying time with friends and family but it is also one of the most expensive days of the year for many families, especially if you are the one hosting. Turkey prices vary from store to store, with some as low as $0.59 a pound if you spend a minimum on other produce, so it pays to shop around.

But what is really going to save you money in the long-term is setting a budget ahead of time. Creating a budget can help you avoid having to use your credit card and accruing interest if you don’t pay it off in time. If you do find yourself using your credit card more than usual and struggle to pay it off, it’s worth considering a balance transfer where you can transfer your debt to another card with low or no interest for a certain period of time.

More information and tips are available at Finder.com.