The cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner is up in 2014, but not by too much!
I just read an article about the cost of Thanksgiving this year (2014) is going up but not by much. According to AP News,
The price for putting Thanksgiving dinner on the table for 10 people is expected to rise slightly this year, clocking in at $49.41. That’s 37 cents higher than in 2013.
What’s behind this 37 cents rise in costs?
Based on a survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation, sweet potatoes, milk and coffee are the most offending culprits.
The biggest cost increase is sweet potatoes, 3 pounds up 20 cents from last year. Next comes whipping cream, a ½ pint up 15 cents. And we all know how important whipped cream is for pumpkin pie.
Here’s a chart of costs from 2013 to 2014 for some important Thanksgiving items from American Farm Bureau Federation:
|Item||2013 Price||2014 Price||Difference|
|Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.||3.36||3.56||+.20|
|Whipping cream, 1/2 pint||1.85||2.00||+.15|
|Milk, 1 gallon whole||3.66||3.76||+.10|
|Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz.||3.10||3.12||+.02|
|1-pound relish tray (carrots and celery)||.81||.82||+.01|
|Green peas, 1 lb.||1.54||1.55||+.01|
|Cubed stuffing, 14 oz.||2.67||2.54||-.13|
|Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.||2.42||2.34||-.08|
|Pie shells (2)||2.49||2.42||-.07|
What About the Turkeys?
Again, according to the American Farm Bureau, the cost of a 16 pound turkey will “drop by 11 cents this year” even though production levels are at their lowest in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are up. Doesn’t make sense but those are the numbers.
A conventional bird may cost you less but go for a free-range or organic turkey and get ready to shell out some cash. Based on numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the approximate price per pound in October of 2014 for a whole frozen turkey is $1.91. That means a 16 pound turkey would cost you $30.56.
At my local Farmers Market, a free range whole fresh turkey is $3.99 per pound. That same 16-pound turkey will now cost you $63.84.
Where Are the Savings?
You can see from the chart above, besides turkey, the price of cubed stuffing, fresh cranberries, pie shells and rolls are down this year. The biggest savings may not be something you eat this Thanksgiving but need to get you to the store or to a family member’s home and that is gas. The price of gas is down 33 cents from this time last year according to AAA.
If you think about it, this reduction of fuel prices must help reduce the overall cost of everything we buy at the market because the cost of getting it there is lower.
If you look at some more historical data from the American Farm Bureau for the past 28 years, you’ll learn that the average cost to feed 10 people the same meal was at its highest in 2012 at $49.48. The lowest cost was in 1987 at $24.51, less than half. However, when you look at inflation adjusted costs, the price of a Thanksgiving dinner has not changed all that much over that time period.