Survey: Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Drops 4% Over 2008

Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings fell 4% in price this year, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

WASHINGTON — Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the basic trimmings fell 4% in price this year, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Farm Bureau Federation here.

AFBF’s 24th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast is $42.91, a $1.70 decrease from last year’s average of $44.61.

The survey asked volunteer shoppers to look for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey. The survey shopping list included turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.

According to the survey, the cost of a 16-pound turkey decreased 3 cents a pound or a total of 44 cents a turkey. Milk dropped 92 cents at $2.86 per gallon and was the largest contributor to the overall decrease in the cost of the 2009 dinner. Other fresh items that decreased in price were a half pint of whipping cream, a 1-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, a 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries, and miscellaneous items including onions, eggs and butter.

More than 200 volunteer shoppers from 35 states participated in this year’s survey. AFBF's survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

Read More of Today's Headlines [2]