Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Are Up 13% in 2011 compared to 2010

Thanksgiving Costs Going Up 2011

Credit: America Farm Bureau Federation

Most people in America will get the day off work to celebrate Thanksgiving day in 2011. Thanksgiving falls on November 24th and is a tradition in the United States for family to get together, share a good meal and watch football. The Black Friday tradition is starting to creep into Thanksgiving day as more people have to wait in lines for increasing amount of time to get the holiday bargains. Before everyone rushes out to Black Friday lines however a Thanksgiving dinner is planned, purchased and prepared. This year everyone in America can expect to pay 13% more than last year.

The America Farm Bureau Federation has released figures that show the 13% increase comes out to an increase of $5.73 cents compared to the Thanksgiving Dinner cost in 2010 which was $43.47. The average American will spend $49.20 this year for a full Thanksgiving meal that is expected to feed 10 people at the dinner table. While it is depressing that prices have risen, the President of AFBF Bob Stallman makes a good point by stating that, “The cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain, at just under $5 per person.”

Another great point made by John Anderson who is an American Farm Bureau Federation senior economist is that the prices of the Thanksgiving dinner are still better when compared to most fast-food value meals out there. In addition to the pricing being better to fast food options the nutritional content, quality and ability for the family to share it around the table provides a much better value.

The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey and that was the main price increase this year. A 16lb turkey this year cost the average American consumer $21.57. That is an increase from the 2010 price of a turkey by about .25 cents a pound or a total of $3.91 a turkey. Mr. Anderson has some theories on why the prices of turkeys are rising, he says, “Turkey prices are higher this year primarily due to strong consumer demand both here in the U.S. and globally.”

Turkey Prices UpYou might be wondering what things are included in the average Thanksgiving feast to figure out whether your receipt will be showing the same price increase. When this study was done the AFBF included the following incredients as the average list for Americans: Turkey, sweet potatoes, bread stuffing, cranberries, relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, coffee and milk. All the ingredients were taking in the estimation that you would need to feed 10 hungry Thanksgiving attendees.

Individual price item increases are detailed more at AFBF along with a year by year analysis of the price of a Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some price increase calculations from AFBF to give you an idea of what might be more expensive this year on your dinner table:

A gallon of whole milk increased in price by 42 cents per gallon, to $3.66. Other items that showed a price increase from last year were: a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.03, up 41 cents; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.52, up 6 cents; a ½ pint of whipping cream, $1.96, up 26 cents; one pound of green peas, $1.68, up 24 cents; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.88, up 24 cents; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.30, up 18 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.26, up 7 cents; and fresh cranberries, $2.48, up 7 cents.

While your wallet may have to open up a little bit more this year, there is still one thing you really can’t put a price on during Thanksgiving. You can’t put a price on everyone being together during a Thanksgiving dinner and sharing what has happened in the last year while sharing a turkey filled meal, with football in the background, a few jokes and probably a nice afternoon nap. Family and sharing dinner at the table together is still a priceless commodity.

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