American Farm Bureau’s 27th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.48, a 28¢ price increase from last year’s average of $49.20.
“At just under $5 per person, the cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain,” said bureau president Bob Stallman. “Our diverse farm and ranch families are honored to produce the food from our nation’s land for family Thanksgiving celebrations. During this holiday season, I am encouraging farmers and ranchers to reach out to consumers in-person or through social media to answer questions about the food that they grow or the livestock and poultry they raise.”
The survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10. There also is plenty for leftovers.
The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at $22.23 this year. That was roughly $1.39 per pound, an increase of about 4¢ per pound, or a total of 66¢ per whole turkey, compared to 2011. The whole bird was the biggest contributor to the final total, showing the largest price increase compared to last year.
Savvy shoppers may pay even less for frozen tom turkey compared to the 155 survey volunteer shoppers who checked prices at grocery stores in 35 states.
In addition to the turkey, a combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk, and butter) increased in price to $3.18. A dozen brown-n-serve rolls also increased slightly this year, up 3 cents to $2.33.
Items that showed a price decrease from last year were: a half pint of whipping cream ($1.83, down 13¢); a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing ($2.77, down 11¢); three pounds of sweet potatoes ($3.15, down 11¢); one gallon of whole milk ($3.59, down 7¢); fresh cranberries ($2.45, down 3¢); one pound of green peas ($1.66, down 2¢); a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix and two nine-inch pie shells ($5.53, down 2¢).