Cost of Thanksgiving Meal 2020

2020 Cost of Thanksgiving Meal

What’s a Turkey Dinner going to Cost You in 2020?

It’s that special time of year when we get to break out the good china, polish up the silverware and put on a big spread for family. The question I try to answer each year with the help of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2020 annual survey, is how much is our Thanksgiving meal going to cost.

Unfortunately, for many families this year, the number of people at the table will be smaller because of Covid concerns.  It’s true in our house this year too. We are only having dinner for our family plus 3 of our closest friends who all will be tested before coming over.

That means we won’t be cooking as much as usual on Thanksgiving but it won’t change the average cost per person as detailed by the AFBF. So just how much will it cost and how does it compare to 2019?

The simple answer is the average cost for 10 people this year is $46.90, less than $5.00 per person and the “lowest since 2010”. This cost is down $2.01 from last year.

One of the biggest cost reductions is the featured item of many Thanksgiving meals and that is the cost of the turkey. At just $19.39 for a 16 pound turkey, we’re talking $1.21 per pound less than last year. A 7% savings.

Show Me The Costs

How do they come up with these prices? They are the average costs found by a group of 230 volunteers in 38 states who went around and checked prices in various grocery stores.

Here is a comparison chart between last year and this year.

Item 2019 Price 2020 Price Difference
Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.  $3.75 $3.44 -.31
Whipping cream, 1/2 pint  $2.08 $1.74 -.34
Milk, 1 gallon whole  $3.10 $3.08 -.02
Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz.  $3.32 $3.39 +.07
1-pound relish tray (carrots and celery)  $ .79 $.73 -.06
Green peas, 1 lb.  $1.49 $1.46 -.03
Cubed stuffing, 14 oz.  $2.68 $2.81 +.13
16-pound turkey  $20.80 $19.39 -1.41
Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.  $2.66 $2.69 +.03
Pie shells (2)  $2.52 $2.42 -.10
Rolls, 12  $2.50 $2.66 +.16
Misc. ingredients  $3.22 $3.09 -.13
TOTAL  $48.91 $46.90 -2.01
Ham, 4 lbs. $9.16 $9.16 No change
Russet potatoes, 5 lbs. $2.74 $2.55 -.19
Green beans $1.51 $1.50 -.01
TOTAL $62.31 $60.11

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