News & Politics

Increase in Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Highest in 31 Years

Increase in Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Highest in 31 Years
(AP Photo/Ryan Nakashima)

The American Farm Bureau has some bad news for American families as they go out to shop for Thanksgiving dinner.

The average cost of a holiday dinner has climbed 14 percent from last year. That’s the largest increase in 31 years.


The price of turkey has gone up 24 percent from 2020 to about $1.50 a pound.

The Farm Bureau says the price of a holiday dinner for ten has gone up from $46.90 to $53.31. In addition to Turkey, the Farm Bureau’s calculations include “turkey, stuffing mix, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee, and milk, with enough for leftovers.”


Without turkey, the price for the overall meal is up 6.6%. That is in line with the 6.2% increase in the U.S. Consumer Price Index in October, when the index saw its biggest annual rise since November 1990, although it is a bit above the 5.4% year-over-year increase for the Labor Department’s measure of costs for food consumed at home. read more

Adjusted for inflation, Thanksgiving costs are up for the first time since 2015 and 7% higher than last year, Farm Bureau data show.

In Chicago, Cinda Shaver, 62, said she now spends at least $120 a week shopping for two people at discount supermarket Aldi, up from $90 previously for the same items.

The litany of reasons for the increases is familiar.

“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh. “These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat,” she explained. Further, “The trend of consumers cooking and eating at home more often due to the pandemic led to increased supermarket demand and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019.”


Price increases for individual items have gone up in most cases by double digits.

  • 16-pound turkey: $23.99 or approximately $1.50 per pound (up 24%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $2.91 (up 20%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $3.64 (up 7%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.78 (up 2%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.05 (up 15%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.98 (up 11%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.30 (up 7%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.54 (up 6%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.56 (up 4%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.82 (up 12%)
  • Misc. ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.45 (up 12%)
  • 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mix: $2.29 (down 19%)

Related: Misery Index: How Are Average Americans Weathering the Biden Economy?

Joe Biden better hope that his economic wise people are right and inflation will cool by the end of next year. If not, there won’t be much of a Democratic Party left, and he’ll prove to be a lame duck president with more than two years left in his term.

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