Cost of Thanksgiving dinner up 20%: Here’s where it’s most expensive


(NEXSTAR) – Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Soon families will gather to feast on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more. But, it’ll come with a pretty hefty price tag.

On Wednesday, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reported a classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $64.05 this year, up 20% over last year’s average of $53.31. This is the highest average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner in the AFBF’s 37 years of conducting this survey.

Partially driving that is, of course, the turkey. The feast’s focal point costs roughly 21% more than last year, with the Farm Bureau’s “volunteer shoppers” finding the average price for a 16-pound bird being $28.96, or $1.81 per pound.

That may not be the price you see, though. The Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers recorded prices during the final two weeks of October. Since then, data from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service show turkey prices have dropped to $0.95 per pound over the last month.

To calculate its overall Thanksgiving meal costs, AFBF reviewed the costs of 12 items: the turkey, pumpkin pie mix, a gallon of whole milk, a veggie tray with carrots and celery, 12 rolls, two pie shells, green peas, fresh cranberries, whipping cream, sweet potatoes, cubed stuffing, and miscellaneous ingredients needed to prepare the meal. Three additional items were calculated separately: ham, russet potatoes, and green beans.

With the exception of cranberries (down 14%), the price of every item is up between 8% and 69% compared to last year. Turkeys are nearly $5 more expensive than they were last year, and cubed stuffing is up more than $1.50. Overall, items other than the turkey are less than $5 each. You can see a full breakdown of item costs here.

Where you live will also likely have an impact on how much you spend for your Thanksgiving feast. Regionally, the AFBF found its meal for 10 would be the cheapest in the South ($58.42) and most expensive in the West ($71.37). Across states in the Northeast and Midwest, meal costs are roughly average – $64.02 and $64.26, respectively.

Residents of major metro areas are also faced with higher Thanksgiving grocery bills than smaller and mid-size cities, according to analysis by MoneyGeek. They found the cost of a full holiday meal in Boston is about twice as much as in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

There are only a few metro areas included in the data set where you can prepare a full spread for less than $100, and many of them are in Texas.

The cities with the most expensive Thanksgiving meals this year, according to MoneyGeek, are:

Rank Metro area Avg. meal cost
1 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH $170
2 Urban Honolulu, HI $164
3 New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ $161
4 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $157
5 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $153
6 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA $152
7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL $146
8 Providence-Warwick, RI-MA $145
9 Tucson, AZ $144
10 Colorado Springs, CO $140
11 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD $139
12 Lexington-Fayette, KY $135
13 Newark NJ-PA Metro Div. $135
14 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $135
15 New Haven-Milford, CT $135

The metro areas with the cheapest cost of a Thanksgiving feast are:

Rank Metro area Avg. meal cost
1 Kalamazoo-Portage, MI $88
2 Waco, TX $93
3 Oklahoma City, OK $97
4 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX $97
5 Killeen-Temple, TX $97
6 Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI $98
7 Kansas City, MO-KS $102
8 Lubbock, TX $102
9 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN $103
10 Corpus Christi, TX $103
11 South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI $103
12 Tulsa, OK $104
13 Green Bay, WI $104
14 Roanoke, VA $105
15 Lynchburg, VA $106

MoneyGeek’s calculation of meal cost included a 10-pound turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, peas, corn, stuffing, pumpkin pie, drinks and a few more cooking staples.

Higher prices on Thanksgiving menu items are due to multiple factors like inflation, the war in Ukraine, supply chain challenges, and, for turkeys, a national outbreak of avian influenza.

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