Gobble, gobble! While people across America are paying more for just about everything these days, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner is lower this year, compared to 2022. The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 38th annual survey says the average cost of this year’s classic holiday feast for 10 is an estimated $61.17 — a little less than $6.20 per person.
According to the Farm Bureau’s tracking, this is a 4.5% decrease from last year’s record-high average of $64.05, but a Thanksgiving meal is still 25% higher than it was in 2019, which highlights the impact high supply costs and inflation have had on food prices since before the pandemic.
The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – helped bring down the overall cost of dinner. The average price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35. That is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% from last year.
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 yet purchased a turkey may find additional savings in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty of leftovers.
“While shoppers will see a slight improvement in the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner, high inflation continues to hammer families across the country, including the nation’s farmers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Growing the food families rely on is a constant challenge for farmers because of high fuel, seed, fertilizer and transportation costs, just to name a few.
“While high food prices are a concern for every family, America still has one of the most affordable food supplies in the world. We’ve accomplished that, in part, due to strong farm bill programs. Although our focus is sharing time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, our thoughts also turn to encouraging Congress to double down on a commitment to passing a new farm bill with a modernized safety net to support those who raise the crops and livestock that supply Thanksgiving dinner and every dinner.”