2013 Turkey Tally

Cost of classic Thanksgiving dinner down for this year

Published in CSP Daily News

In addition to the turkey, other items that declined in price included a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.18; one pound of green peas, $1.54; a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.67; fresh cranberries, $2.42; a half pint of whipping cream, $1.85; and two nine-inch pie shells, $2.49.

Items that showed a moderate price increase from last year included three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.36; one gallon of whole milk, $3.66; and a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $3.10.

In addition, a combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) increased to $3.20. A one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery increased to 81 cents.

The average cost of the dinner has remained around $49 since 2011. Further, Anderson noted that despite retail price increases during the last year or so, American consumers have enjoyed relatively stable food costs in general over the years, particularly when adjusted for inflation.

The stable average price reported this year by Farm Bureau for a classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the government's Consumer Price Index for food eaten at home, which indicates a 1% increase compared to a year ago.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey. Shoppers with an eye for bargains in all areas of the country should be able to purchase individual menu items at prices comparable to the Farm Bureau survey averages. Another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, which are available at many supermarkets and take-out restaurants for around $50 to $75.

The AFBF survey was first conducted in 1986. While the Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau's survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

  • 1986 $28.74
  • 1987 $24.51
  • 1988 $26.61
  • 1989 $24.70
  • 1990 $28.85
  • 1991 $25.95
  • 1992 $26.39
  • 1993 $27.49
  • 1994 $28.40
  • 1995 $29.64
  • 1996 $31.66
  • 1997 $31.75
  • 1998 $33.09
  • 1999 $33.83
  • 2000 $32.37
  • 2001 $35.04
  • 2002 $34.56
  • 2003 $36.28
  • 2004 $35.68
  • 2005 $36.78
  • 2006 $38.10
  • 2007 $42.26 
  • 2008 $44.61
  • 2009 $42.91
  • 2010 $43.47
  • 2011 $49.20
  • 2012 $49.48
  • 2013 $49.04

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Keywords: 
hot & cold food