America at work
Let’s Talk Turkey: How Much Will Thanksgiving Dinner Set You Back?
Free Enterprise Staff | November 24, 2015

If you’re looking for an excuse to get out of hosting Thanksgiving, then here’s something you’ll need to know: You can’t blame the cost of turkey. Nope – as it turns out, the price of Thanksgiving Day dinner this year is roughly the same as it was in 2014.

That’s according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), an advocacy organization that conducts an informal price survey each year regarding the cost of the holiday meal. The group says that the total cost for a Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 people will set you back just a smidge over $50. That figure is up less than $1 from 2014.

The organization’s announcement—which, just to stress again, is not scientific and is not indicative in any way of the overall U.S. inflation rate—notes that the price of a turkey is essentially unchanged from 2014, with a 16-pound bird retailing for around $23.

“Retail prices seem to have stabilized quite a bit for turkey, which is the centerpiece of the meal in our market basket,” John Anderson, the AFBF’s deputy chief economist, said in a statement. “Turkey production is down this year but not dramatically. Our survey shows a modest increase in turkey prices compared to last year. But we’re now starting to see retailers feature turkeys aggressively for the holiday.”

According to the AFBF, apart from turkey, a Thanksgiving Day meal includes “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.” They also factor in the quantity of food because, well, what is Thanksgiving without leftovers?