Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Are Up; Ways to Save Money on This Year's Feast

Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Are Up; Ways to Save Money on This Year's Feast

Enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends is a priority for many Americans, but paying attention to how the meal will impact the budget is also important. 

Farm Bureau’s 36th annual survey indicates the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $53.31 or less than $6.00 per person.  This is a $6.41 or 14% increase from last year’s average of $46.90.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $23.99 for a 16-pound bird.  That’s roughly $1.50 per pound, up 24% from last year.

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

The higher price of a Thanksgiving dinner is the result of supply chain issues and other economic disruptions from the pandemic, as well as an increase in the global demand for meat.

River Valley Extension District Family Resource Management Agent Monica Thayer says there are tips and tricks to help you save money on Turkey Day, such as planning ahead and shopping early, as well as doing a thorough inventory of your pantry for Thanksgiving-friendly ingredients you might already have.


The American Farm Bureau Federation Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986.  The informal survey provides a record of comparative holiday meal costs over the years.  Farm Bureau’s classic survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.