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Price of Thanksgiving dinner actually goes down this year

Andy Owens //November 20, 2023//

Price of Thanksgiving dinner actually goes down this year

Andy Owens //November 20, 2023//

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If you’ve felt the pinch of inflation across your financial and business life, you’re going to save some cash when you gather your family around the table for Thanksgiving dinner, data from the American Farm Bureau Federation show.

Each year, the Farm Bureau tracks the average price of all the traditional ingredients for Thanksgiving. The annual analysis has become an economic snapshot for Americans trying to get a sense of how expensive life in America actually is. The data also become a bellwether for the upcoming holiday season when a lot of retailers end up in the red or in the black.

Farm Bureau Federation reports the average price of Thanksgiving dinner actually dropped by 4.5% from 2022 to 2023. Now before you go out and invite more friends to join you for the eternal debate about the perfect way to carve a turkey, understand that 4.5% comes out to an average of $2.88.

However, that’s a big deal because the price didn’t go up year-over-year, which is something worth noting. In South Carolina, for example, $2.88 will nearly get you a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk, depending on your need.

American Farm Bureau Federation, which represents farmers and agricultural interests across the U.S., found that the signature piece of every Thanksgiving, the bird, is the most expensive ingredient. Even still, the average price of turkey in down 5.6%.

What’s costing more this year is sweet potatoes, carrots and celery, pumpkin pie mix and dinner rolls.

Farm Bureau members also understand that where you live can dictate how much it costs for you to eat this Thanksgiving. The federation found that the Midwest and the South were the most affordable regions for the traditional Thanksgiving.

The South came in 3.4% below the national average of $61.17. The highest region for a traditional Thanksgiving was in the Northeast, which was nearly 5.25% higher than the national average.

To give this all some context, the Farm Bureau pointed out that, Thanksgiving dinner in 2023 was still 25% higher than in 2019 across the U.S.

That’s good to know in case you decide to grab that second dinner roll or a slice of sweet potato pie. Don’t feel bad. They’re both less expensive than a gallon of gas and a gallon of milk.

Andy Owens is a contribution writer for SC Biz News.