In its 30th annual estimate of the cost for a Thanksgiving Day dinner, the American Farm Bureau Federation pegged this year's feast for 10 people at $50.11, up 70 cents from 2014. The surveyed food items comprising the meal include 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.
Nearly half of the meal cost is attributed to the signature food item — a 16-pound turkey, which checked in at $23.04. Turkey prices have moderated following the avian influenza outbreak earlier this year in the Midwest. The survey price is only $1.39 higher than last year, or 9 cents more per pound. Other items costing a bit more this year than last included the pumpkin pie mix, a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, cubed bread stuffing and pie shells.
There were also items that showed modest price declines. These included 1 gallon of whole milk, a combined group of miscellaneous items (coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal such as butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour), whipping cream, cranberries, a relish tray and green peas.
A total of 138 volunteer shoppers from 32 different states go to a local grocery store and check item prices. The shoppers look for the best possible prices without using coupons or special purchase deals. Overall, the price of our Thanksgiving meal hasn't increased significantly since 2011, when the price hiked from $43.47 to $49.20.