Even More Expensive Than Last Year's Turkey Dinner
I thought last year's Turkey Dinner was expensive compared to the year before, but 2022 is the priciest ever. According to the Farm Bureau's annual survey, this year's Thanksgiving dinner for ten people is $64.05 or about $6.50 per person. Wow!
Last year's average cost was $53.31, $10.74 cheaper than this year's. That's a 29% increase.
Inflation Is Driving Thanksgiving Dinner Costs Up
What's leading to the cost rise? Well, just about everything. Only one item in the survey is down this year, fresh cranberries, down .41 cents from last year. But, unfortunately, this will not make up for all the other items that have gone up.
A 16-pound turkey is up $4.97 from 2021. That's crazy. And they are not going to be as available as in prior years. My friend in the food service business told me some supermarkets are only getting half their orders this year. So be sure to get your turkeys as soon as possible if you have room in your refrigerator.
A 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing is up $1.59 from the year before. That's crazy too. We are talking about bread cubes with seasoning.
Even potatoes are more expensive. For example, a 5-pound bag of Russet potatoes, the best for making mashed potatoes, in my opinion, is up .68 cents.
What's Causing This Inflation?
One of the biggest reasons is turkey production is down this year, thus driving up prices. For most families, the turkey is the most expensive item in the basket. And with supply down, demand is average; prices are going up. How much?
According to the Department of Agriculture, turkeys weighing between 8 and 16 pounds will cost 25 cents per pound more this year. This year, birds weighing in at 16 to 24 pounds will cost you 21 cents more.
The other issue is the lingering effects of Covid and what it has done to the supply chain of all goods, not just items for Thanksgiving. So not only are food items going to be more expensive, some may be hard to find because they are in limited supply.
Some Good News
According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, "the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys was $1.11 the week of Nov. 3-9 and 95 cents the week of Nov. 10-16, a decline of 14% in just one week; and the share of stores offering feature prices rose from 29% to 60%. This means consumers who have not yet purchased a turkey should be able to find one at a lower cost than the Farm Bureau average."
So What Can You Do To Minimize the Effects of Inflation and Supply Chain Problems?
- Start your shopping early. Start now! Just because prices are already up, it's more likely they can go even higher as we get closer to Thanksgiving. More importantly, some items like fresh or canned cranberries may not be available the closer we get to the big day.
- Share some of the costs with family and friends. There's no reason you need to eat the entire bill if you invite friends and family. Instead, ask Aunt Jen to bring the Brussels Sprouts and brother Glenn to bring some dessert pies. Not only will it take some pressure off you with preparing the feast, but it will also bring down your total costs of the meal.
- Don't cook as much this year. In our house, we always cook way too much to give friends and family doggie bags filled with leftovers so they can make turkey sandwiches with stuffing and cranberry sauce over the weekend while watching football. So maybe this year, you will cut back a little.
- Get your paper goods now. We are huge Costco fans, so we'll pick up as many items as possible, like paper towels and fizzy water, now while the supply lasts.
- If you order your turkey from a Farmer's market or your local supermarket, get your order in as soon as possible.
- And don't forget those fun items like turkey candles, Thanksgiving napkins, placemats, or even some fun salt and pepper shakers.
- And don't forget the wine. If you serve wine with your Thanksgiving meal, why not pick up something special like a lovely Pinot Noir before the shelves are empty?
- Look for deals, especially now. Check your local papers to see what sales they are running now. We are not big coupon cutters, but this year I may start picking up flyers at the local markets to see if I can find some deals on items we'll need for our meal.
What Does the American Farm Bureau Federation Say?
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation's 2022 annual survey, prices are up this year and by a lot. According to their survey, prices are up overall 20% from last year. Below is a breakdown from 2021 to 2022.
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||2021 Price||2022 Price||Difference|
|Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.||$3.44||$3.96||+.40|
|Whipping cream, ½ pint||$1.78||$2.24||+.46|
|Milk, 1 gallon whole||$3.30||$3.84||+.54|
|Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz.||$3.64||$4.28||+.64|
|1-pound veggie tray (carrots and celery)||$.82||$.88||+.06|
|Green peas, 1 lb.||$1.54||$1.90||+.36|
|Cubed stuffing, 14 oz.||$2.29||$3.88||+1.59|
|Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.||$2.98||$2.57||-.41|
|Pie shells (2)||$2.91||$3.68||+.77|
|TOTAL - Classic Dinner||53.31||$64.05||+10.74|
|Ham, 4 lbs.||$10.87||$11.64||+.77|
|Russet potatoes, 5 lbs.||$2.96||$3.64||+.68|
|TOTAL - Classic + 3 Items||68.72||$81.30||+12.58|
Check Out All My Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Suggestions
- The History of Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving Recipes and Cooking Tips
- Thanksgiving Planner
- Last Minute Thanksgiving Checklist
- Fun Thanksgiving Facts and Trivia
- How to Grill Your Turkey on a Gas Grill
Some of My Favorite Thanksgiving Posts
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Maple-Sage Butter Recipe
- 20 Great Tips For Perfect Mashed Potatoes Every Time
- Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffle with Fried Egg
- How to Make the Best Turkey Stock For Gravy
- How to Deconstruct A Turkey
- New Spins on the Old Standards
- How to Grill a Turkey to Perfection on Your Gas Grill
- How to Roast a Moist Turkey This Year