published on November 19, 2018 - 1:26 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

This marks the third-straight year that the cost of the Thanksgiving bounty is lower, according to the American Farm Bureau Federations 33rd annual dinner survey.

The survey tracks the average cost of a Thanksgiving day dinner, finding that the total average cost this year is $48.90, or less than $5 per person for feeding ten people.

“Since 2015, the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner has declined steadily and is now at the lowest level since 2010,” said AFBF Chief Economist Dr. John Newton.

The star of the table – the turkey – cost slightly less than last year, coming in at $21.71 for a 16-pound bird.

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

Foods showing the largest decreases this year, in addition to turkey, were a gallon of milk, $2.92; a 3-pound bag of sweet potatoes, $3.39; a 1-pound bag of green peas, $1.47; and a dozen rolls, $2.25.

Several items saw modest price increases this year including cranberries, pumpkin pie mix and stuffing. A 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries was $2.65; a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix was $3.33; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing was $2.87; two nine-inch pie shells came in at $2.47 and a 1-pound veggie tray was $.75. A group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour) was also up slightly, to $3.01.

A total of 166 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 37 states for this year’s survey. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey.


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