Special Report

The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Every Year Since 1987

Thanksgiving dinner is in just a few days, and while many Americans have cut back on their spending recently due to inflation, they might still splurge a bit for the holiday. This means budgets nationwide will take a hit this week because the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be 20% higher than it was last year. 

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual Thanksgiving price survey, which collects data on the prices of items consumed in a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 10, found that such a dinner will cost $64.05 on average across the United States this year. This is compared to $53.31 in 2021 and just $46.90 in 2020. (Find out the 16 things you should know about thanksgiving this year.)

Using the Farm Bureau survey, including  historical data, and the  Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index to estimate costs for the years when the AFBF did not conduct its survey, 24/7 Wall St. listed the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 every year from 1947 through 2022. 

The components of a traditional Thanksgiving meal considered in the survey include a 16-pound turkey, 14 oz. of stuffing, 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, a dozen dinner rolls, 16 oz. of frozen peas, 12 oz. of cranberries, a half pound of both carrots and celery, ingredients for two pumpkin pies — pie shells, pumpkin pie mix, and whipped cream — and a gallon of milk.

Considering Americans might be forced to spend much more on their Thanksgiving dinners than years past, this might have an impact on another form of holiday-related spending — Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two days mark the beginning of the holiday shopping period. (Also see, these are the states where inflation is causing the most stress.)

Early reports are showing that Americans might be undeterred by the effects of the current economic situation. One survey showed that Americans would spend an average of $500 on the weekend shopping period, a 12% increase from last year. According to the survey, conducted by Deloitte, 64% of those surveyed planned to shop during the period, compared to 56% in 2021.

Click here to see the cost of Thanksgiving dinner every year since 1987.

Click here to read our detailed methodology.

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