Thanksgiving Dinners Cost More This Year

By Maggy Patrick

Nov 10, 2011 12:51pm
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The typical Thanksgiving dinner will cost families more this year on average, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The dinner, including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and some other typical holiday foods, increased about 13 percent this year. The annual price survey shows that a feast for about 10 people costs $49.20, a $5.73 increase from last year’s average of $43.47.

The survey included 141 volunteer shoppers from 35 states across the country. Shoppers were asked to find the best bargains for the staples of a Thanksgiving meal without participating in any promotions or special deals that many grocery stores offer this time of year.

The biggest increase in price is for the holiday staple: a 16-pound turkey. The average price this year was $24.57 , up 25 cents per pound from last year.

Among the other items showing price increases were milk, pumpkin pie-mix, two 9-inch pie shells, whipping cream, peas and stuffing. Sweet potatoes and fresh cranberries also cost a few cents more since people put together their shopping lists for last year’s feast.

John Anderson, a senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, says shoppers still have a lot for which to be thankful. Thanksgiving dinners are still relatively cheap when broken down per person.

The cost still remains a little less than $5 per person, even with the reported increases.

“Although we’ll pay a bit more this year, on a per-person basis, our traditional Thanksgiving feast remains a better value than most fast-food value meals, plus it’s a wholesome, home-cooked meal,” he said in a statement.

Anderson also said that although the survey marks an increase in food prices, consumers have seen relatively stable costs for food during the years, especially adjusted for inflation. Even the increases this year were relatively modest, with many of the staples going up by a few cents. A 1-pound tray of carrots and celery actually decreased in price, albeit by only a penny.

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