Cost of Thanksgiving dinner lowest since 2010

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pike County residents such as Karen Williamson are out getting food for their annual Thanksgiving dinners, which may be just a bit cheaper this year than usual.

Williamson was out getting a turkey, of course, as well as some other ingredients that she viewed as staples of her Thanksgiving meal tradition.

Williamson said she planned to make some kind of corn dish and a broccoli casserole this year, but that her “must-have” dishes for the holiday are ham, dressing and sweet potato soufflé.

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All of these ingredients except ham are included in the “classic” Thanksgiving meal that the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) uses to calculate the average cost, of a thanksgiving dinner.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread 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.

Foods showing the largest decreases this year in addition to turkey were pumpkin pie mix and milk.

“Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year,” AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton said in a release. “We have seen farm prices for many foods – including turkeys – fall from the higher levels of recent years. This translates into lower retail prices for a number of items as we prepare for Thanksgiving and confirms that U.S. consumers benefit from an abundant, high-quality and affordable food supply.”

“Due to a significant expansion in global milk production, prices fell to the lowest levels since 2009, leading to lower retail milk and dairy product prices. Additionally, this year’s pumpkin prices are slightly lower following the production decline and higher prices seen in 2015,” Newton said.

The average price is down slightly from last year to $49.87. After adjusting for inflation, the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner fell to $20.66 – the lowest level since 2010.