Thanks to the rising commodity prices, a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings will cost about 13% more than last year. No word on the costs of a Turducken.
According to an informal supermarket survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, everything you’ll need for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a family of 10 will cost $49.20, up from $43.37 last year.
The AFBF’s holiday menu includes, of course, turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie mix, pie shells, whipping cream, peas, stuffing, rolls, sweet potatoes and whole milk, among other items. But those listed all went up in price this year. (The AFBF would like you to know that their menu leaves plenty for leftovers.)
A 16-pound turkey, for example, is averaging $21.57 this year, up about 25 cents per pound, or $3.91 per turkey. The AFBF says rising turkey prices are due to stronger consumer demand domestically and abroad.
(RealSimple.com: Inexpensive Ideas for Holiday Party Food)
While there’s a significant spike from last year, food prices have remained relatively stable when adjusted for inflation. In 1986, the first year the AFBF conducted the survey, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner was $28.74 and has been steadily rising since.
This summer, poor weather shrank the crop yield as exports for beef and pork increased. Even so, many supermarkets are wary of passing along those costs to consumers. That mindset kept the food inflation rate at 0.8% last year, the slowest since 1962. But those days appear to be over. That rate has started to escalate as retail grocery prices rose 6.3% for the 12 months ending in September.
Still, the Thanksgiving dinner averages out to $5 per person — plus leftovers! — an absolute bargain even in a time of rising food prices.