How Much Will a Thanksgiving Meal Cost This Year?

It will cost more to feast on turkey, ham and mashed potatoes at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the typical Thanksgiving dinner includes the staples of a 16-pound turkey, a gallon of milk, potatoes, ham and buns.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data (pdf) show that an 8- to 16-pound turkey costs $1.99 per pound, up from $1.15 a year ago. This corresponds to an increase of almost 75 percent.

Boneless ham is up 13.6 percent to $5,504 a pound since September 2021, Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). White potatoes are up 27.7 percent to $1,019 a pound, while white bread is up 10.7 percent to $1,749 a pound. A gallon of fresh whole milk rose 16.6 percent to $4,181.

The large selection of different ingredients also has elevated at a notable rate over the last year, including butter (26.6 percent), flour (24.4 percent), spices and condiments (13.8 percent), sugar (17.1 percent), sauces and sauces (16.3 percent) and coffee (15.7 percent). .

Overall, food prices have skyrocketed over the past year, with the BLS Food Index rising at an annualized rate of 11.2 percent. Grocery prices rose 13 percent year-on-year in September, while the cost of dining out rose 8.5 percent compared to the same time a year ago.

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Epoch Times photo
People shop at a grocery store in New York City on May 31, 2022. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

In recent years, soaring food prices have been driven by a variety of factors, including unstable weather conditions in key growing areas, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, rising energy prices and labor costs, and bird flu.

bird flu

The ongoing bird outbreak has impacted the price and supply of turkey, chicken and eggs. Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI) usually occurs in the colder months, but commercial turkey producers struggled with avian influenza in July. This is the time when farmers start raising herds for the upcoming holiday season.

So far this year, nearly 48 million birds have been affected, with the flu being detected in 42 states. The only way to limit the spread is to kill entire flocks, which consist of approximately 15,000 birds.

The topic is not only widespread in the USA. Large numbers of bird flu cases are reported in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the European Union. Millions of birds have been killed as a result.

Experts claim that transmission has increased immensely in the last year and the disease is spreading to mammals at a faster rate. Scientists aren’t sure why the outbreak is intensifying, but some theories argue that mutations have meant the virus has infected a variety of bird species and that the mutations have allowed the virus to replicate.

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“We all feel the pain of higher grocery prices,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in one expression. “HPAI outbreaks in the spring and a spike in cases in the fall are taking their toll, but farmers remain committed to ensuring America’s food supply remains strong.”

Another aspect was the remarkable increase of 8.1 percent compared to the previous year Turkey feed prices. Added to this are the rising energy, fertilizer and labor costs that farmers are facing.

The latest from the USDA Income forecast for the agricultural sector expects record total production costs, soaring nearly 18 percent from 2021 to $437.4 billion this year.

Can Americans afford Thanksgiving?

With annual inflation above 8 percent, real (inflation-adjusted) wage growth still in negative territory, and consumers who have used up their pandemic-era savings, can Americans afford Thanksgiving this year?

According to a recent Personal Capital opinion pollA quarter of Americans plan to skip Thanksgiving dinner this year to save money.

Others are adapting their Thanksgiving to the rising cost of living. The poll found that more than a third of Americans would have smaller dinners, while 88 percent say they will eliminate at least one dish from the dinner table. Another quarter of consumers are budgeting up to $100 for their 2022 Thanksgiving dinner.

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“As the holidays draw closer and food prices continue to rise, this year’s food-focused celebrations may require an additional focus on finances. Some hosts tighten their budgets by trimming the guest list, editing the menu, or asking for input. Others skip the vacation altogether,” the report said. “Whether you decide to skip the celebrations or join the party, remember what the holidays are about: being together. No matter what you celebrate, holidays are a time to be with those you care about and refocus your life on what matters most to you — and no amount of inflation can take that out of the budget. ”

With the national median price of a gallon of gas again approaching $4, visiting family at Thanksgiving could also be an exorbitant trip, adding to the growing cost of Thanksgiving.

Andrew Moran


Andrew Moran has been writing about business, economics and finance for more than a decade. He is the author of The War on Cash.


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