The latest survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows a drop in cost for a Thanksgiving Day feast by at least 24 cents compared to a year ago.
A feast for 10 people will run you up about $49.87 this year, a .24 cent drop from 2015’s average of $50.11.
The AFBF survey included classic items such as turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk. And yes, there will still be plenty of leftovers.
“Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year,” AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton said. “We have seen farm prices for many foods – including turkeys – fall from the higher levels of recent years. This translates into lower retail prices for a number of items as we prepare for Thanksgiving and confirms that U.S. consumers benefit from an abundant, high-quality and affordable food supply.”
Foods showing the largest decreases, in addition to turkey, were pumpkin pie mix, milk and a veggie tray made up of celery and carrots. A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix was $3.13; a gallon of milk, $3.17; a one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots, $0.73; and a group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), $2.81, according to the report.
“Due to a significant expansion in global milk production, prices fell to the lowest levels since 2009, leading to lower retail milk and dairy product prices. Additionally, this year’s pumpkin prices are slightly lower following the production decline and higher prices seen in 2015,” Newton said.
Items that increased in price were a dozen brown-and-serve rolls, $2.46; two 9-inch pie shells, $2.59; one pound of green peas, $1.58; 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, $2.39; a half-pint of whipping cream, $2.00; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.67; and a 3-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes, $3.60.
Another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, which are available at many supermarkets and take-out restaurants for around $50 to $75.
While the survey prices don’t include any special savings, there are plenty of bargains shoppers can take advantage of this holiday season to save them even more on Thanksgiving dinner.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The American Farm Bureau Federation Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.
CPI report for food at home: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm.