(NEXSTAR) — With Thanksgiving just over a week away, you may be rushing to get the ingredients you’ll need for the big feast. While we’re still seeing inflation in grocery stores, your meal may not be as expensive as it was last year.
Throughout 2022, we were facing an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which led to lower production in the turkey industry. That, coupled with increased demand, kept turkey prices high around Thanksgiving.
“Volunteer shoppers” with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) reported that the average price for a 16-pound bird was $28.96, or about $1.81 per pound, up 21% compared to 2021. That contributed to a record-setting price of $64.05 to serve a feast for 10, the Farm Bureau reported.
This year, the Farm Bureau reports the same-sized meal will set you back about $61.17, a 4.5% decrease over last year. While a drop, that price is still 25% higher than the price they projected for a Thanksgiving meal in 2019.
In the Farm Bureau’s latest annual Thanksgiving dinner survey, volunteer shoppers found that the focal point of your feast, the turkey, will run you about $27.35, or $1.71 per pound. The drop in price is largely thanks to a decrease in HPAI cases, the AFBF said in October.
It is worth noting, though, that the Farm Bureau’s volunteer shoppers were visiting stores in early November before many retailers began selling turkeys at lower prices, which means you may find an even better deal.
In addition to the turkey, the AFBF reviews the cost of 11 items: pumpkin pie mix, a gallon of whole milk, a veggie tray with carrots and celery, 12 rolls, two pie shells, green peas, fresh cranberries, whipping cream, sweet potatoes, cubed stuffing, and miscellaneous ingredients needed to prepare a meal.
Last year, it was only the cranberries that had dropped in price from the year prior. This year, eight of the categories reviewed have become cheaper: turkey, stuffing, pie crusts, whipping cream, frozen peas, whole milk, cranberries, and miscellaneous ingredients.
Here’s a breakdown of the Farm Bureau’s 2022 Thanksgiving dinner costs compared to this year:
|Item||2022 Price||2023 Price|
|Pumpkin pie mix||$4.28||$4.44|
|1-gallon whole milk||$3.84||$3.74|
|2 pie shells||$3.68||$3.50|
“While shoppers will see a slight improvement in the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner, high inflation continues to hammer families across the country, including the nation’s farmers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall in a press release. “Growing the food families rely on is a constant challenge for farmers because of high fuel, seed, fertilizer and transportation costs, just to name a few.”
Where you live may also impact how much you spend on your Thanksgiving feast. Regionally, the Farm Bureau found its meal would be the cheapest in the Midwest ($58.66) and most expensive in the Northeast ($64.38). A meal costs less than $60 in the South ($59.10), but $63.89 in the West.
An analysis by MoneyGeek found those living in major metro areas — especially those on the West Coast — may also face an expensive Turkey Day meal. MoneyGeek reviewed slightly different items than the AFBF, which boosted the overall price of the meal: refreshments (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), store-bought pies, and individual ingredients for side dishes like mashed potatoes.
In last year’s analysis, MoneyGeek found six cities in its data set where a Thanksgiving meal could cost less than $100. This year, that isn’t the case.
Those living in Seattle may face the biggest bill at almost $176 while those in Brownsville, Texas, could have the smallest at $121.61. Brownsville also had the cheapest turkey ($10.26 for a 10-pound bird) while Portland had the most expensive ($34.70 for the same size).
Here are the 15 metros with the most expensive Thanksgiving meal costs, according to MoneyGeek:
|2||Urban Honolulu, HI||$160.36|
|5||San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA||$156.73|
|7||New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY||$153.28|
|9||Boise City, ID||$152.84|
|14||Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||$148.46|
|15||Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL||$147.89|
And here are the 15 metro areas with the cheapest overall cost:
|3||El Paso, TX||$122.75|
|4||St. Louis, MO-IL||$123.00|
|5||Oklahoma City, OK||$123.89|
|7||Minneapolis-St Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI||$124.35|
|5||New Orleans-Metairie, LA||$124.72|
|1||South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI||$126.20|
You can view MoneyGeek’s full report here.