The traditional Thanksgiving dinner will cost 13 percent more this year, according to a survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The average feast will cost $49.20 to feed a gathering of 10, which is $5.73 more than last year.
If you’re planning an all-organic Thanksgiving dinner you can expect to add about $100 to the total, according to SmartMoney.com, the digital network of The Wall Street Journal.
The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners is the turkey, which is responsible for much of this year’s price increase. Farm Bureau says a 16-pound turkey will cost an average of $21.57, an increase of about 25 cents per pound over last year, or a total of $3.91 per bird.
Farm Bureau’s survey of Thanksgiving dinner ingredients found increases for most items that make up the traditional feast. Whole milk, for instance, increased 42 cents per gallon to an average of $3.66. Other items include: 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.
The organic-version of a Thanksgiving feast is a little pricey, beginning with the turkey. The average cost of the traditional turkey in the Farm Bureau survey is $1.35 per pound, but the organic bird was found to be $4.99 per pound by SmartMoney. That makes the same 16-pound turkey cost $80. Want organic canned pumpkin for the pie? That’s an extra $1.81 for two 15-ounce cans.
SmartMoney compared prices for organic and non-organic menu items and found an organic premium for the meal at $126.35.
“The organic version of our turkey-day menu for eight people including dinner rolls, a salad and three bottles of organic wine totaled $295.36,” SmartMoney wrote. (The organic wine was priced about $7 per bottle higher than the non-organic wine, which added $21 to the price differential.)
SmartMoney notes that their shopping was done in New York, not the cheapest place to buy food. SmartMoney also said Whole Foods, where their organic turkey was purchased, also offers a store-brand turkey for $2.29 a pound “that has only been fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and has not been administered antibiotics.”
For many Americans, however, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner means going to a restaurant. According to the National Restaurant Association, 30 million Americans (about 10 percent of us) will rely on restaurants for their Thanksgiving meals.
NRA says about 14 million people will eat their turkey dinner at a restaurant while 16 million will get takeout for all or part of their feast. Six in 10 people say that eating out is just more convenient.