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Thanksgiving Dinner *Should* Cost You Less Than $5 A Person

Anyone who’s ever hosted a Thanksgiving meal knows it can get quite costly, and that’s probably true regardless of how big or small your celebration is this year. But don’t tell that to the American Farm Bureau Federation, because they’ve come out with their 35th annual report on what a Thanksgiving meal should cost, and yet again it is ridiculously low. 

According to the group, the total cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 should be $46.90.

That comes out to less than $5 a person, and is down $2.01 from last year.

The most expensive item will, of course, be the turkey at $1.21 a pound, or $19.39 for a 16-pound bird, which is down 7% from last year, making it the lowest turkey price since 2010.

As for the rest of the cheap meal, it includes:

  • A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix - $3.39 (an increase from last year)
  • A gallon of milk - $3.08 (an decrease from last year)
  • A one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots -$0.73 (an decrease from last year)
  • A dozen brown-and-serve rolls - $2.66 (an increase from last year)
  • Two nine-inch pie shells - $2.42 (an decrease from last year)
  • One pound of green peas - $1.46 (an decrease from last year)
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries - $2.69 (an increase from last year)
  • A half-pint of whipping cream - $1.74 (a decrease from last year)
  • A 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing - $2.81 (an increase from last year)
  • A three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes - $3.44 (an decrease from last year)
  • Misc. ingredients - $3.09

The Farm Bureau also looked into what it would cost if you added ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans into the mix, and it does raise the price slightly.

That would bring the price for a dinner for 10 up to $60.11, or a little over $6 a person, again a slight decrease from last year. 

Sure, those numbers seem absurdly low, but believe it or not, the group came up with their estimates based on information from 230 shoppers who checked grocery prices in 50 states. Obviously none of them went to Whole Foods.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

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