When the prices of all the items on the menu for a Thanksgiving dinner are added together, they will rise only one penny from last year. That brings this year’s total to $48.91 for a dinner for 10, which is about $5 per person.
The American Farm Bureau Federation does an analysis of Thanksgiving meal costs. This year is the 34th time the organization has issued its figure. AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton commented on the trend, “The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is essentially unchanged from last year, after three years of decline since 2015.” He pointed out that only eight cents of each dollar of this goes to farmers. The balance is primarily the cost of food preparation and expenses added by the retail process.
The measure included the prices of the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, other vegetables, pumpkin pie, whipped cream and coffee and milk. The biggest drop in prices from last year is turkey, the cost of which dropped $0.91 to $20.80, and stuffing, which dropped $0.19 to $2.68. The largest increases were 12 rolls, which rose $0.25 to $2.50, and three pounds of sweet potatoes, which rose $0.36 to $3.75.
The American Farm Bureau elected to look at a “non-traditional” meal as well. This included ham, potatoes and frozen green beans. The cost of a meal including these moved the price to $62.32.
The final conclusion of the survey was that the vast majority of people eat their meals at home. Ninety-two percent had their meal in their own homes or a family member’s homes.
The research was done by 250 people who checked prices in 38 states. They looked for the best prices they could find.