The Cost of a Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Is Up 1.3%

stevebott/ Flickr

Every year, the American Farm Bureau Federation puts out the results of its price survey to figure out how much it costs to serve a classic Thanksgiving dinner. And, somehow, it’s always cheaper than taking the family out for value meals at Arby’s.

This year they ran their 25th annual survey, and the total cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is up 1.3% from last year . . . taking it to $43.47 for a meal for 10, or $4.35 per person.  Last year the cost was $42.91, or 56 cents less.

That cost includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee, and milk. The most expensive part of the meal is a 16-pound turkey, which has an average cost this year of $17.66, or about $1.10 per pound.  That’s about six cents per pound cheaper than last year.

A gallon of whole milk had the biggest price jump in the past year, up 38 cents from $2.86 to $3.24.When the AFBF started running the price survey in 1986, the cost of this meal was $28.74.

Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $55.50 in today’s dollars . . . meaning that the price of serving a Thanksgiving dinner has actually gone down by more than $10 in the past two-and-a-half decades.


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