What Is The Average Cost Of A Thanksgiving Meal?

The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that 10 people can be fed turkey and all the trimmings for under $50. How did your feast compare?


Throwing a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people with turkey and all the trimmings cost an average of $49.48 this year, up 28 cents over last year, according to a survey by American Farm Bureau Federation.

“At just under $5 per person, the cost of this year’s meal remains a bargain,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman, a rice and cattle producer from Texas.

This is the 27th year that this farm lobby group has estimated the average cost of serving a 10-person dinner. Its shopping list includes:

  1. turkey
  2. bread stuffing
  3. sweet potatoes
  4. rolls with butter
  5. peas
  6. cranberries
  7. a relish tray of carrots and celery
  8. pumpkin pie with whipped cream
  9. beverages of coffee and milk
  10. in quantities to serve 10 with "plenty of leftovers"

How times have changed. When the Bureau did the first such survey in 1986, the average meal cost $28.74.

How much did your feast cost? What accounted for the difference between your costs and the average? Seeing is believing. Upload a picture of your table.

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Tom Abate November 22, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I think a lot of people go way over these averages because they overset the table: ham plus turkey; multiple desserts, etcetera. It is good to hear your corroboration on this because you are known in this forum for your precision. Incidentally, I am now eating Vegan which really lowers the price. Of course, goodbye turkey, butter and many other treats.


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