Steadfast FinancesAverage Cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner

Average Cost of a Thanksgiving Dinner

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There’s a feeling of sticker shock the first time you roll over the frozen turkey at the grocery store and check out the total cost. It might seem steep, but the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is very affordable. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost for a family of 10 is under $50 or slightly less than $5 per person. You probably spend more money driving to Grandmother’s house. Still, there are many things that can be done to spend less than the average American.

Here’s what the average American is buying and how my family is saving on the biggest meal of the year.

Average Cost of a Turkey

I hope you are doing better than the average American. According to the Farm Bureau, the average cost per pound for turkey is $1.39. However, if you are a savvy shopper, you’ve been holding out for a good sale. My local market featured a $.49/pound frozen turkey this week. The cost of the average turkey it is a price that is easily beaten with a small amount of due diligence.

When it comes to the Thanksgiving budget, you’ll find big savings by buying a low cost bird. The average American spends $22.23 total on turkey or nearly half their Thanksgiving budget.

Fruit and Vegetables Add Up

Thanksgiving has its roots in the fall harvest. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without preparing some vegetables and fruit. However, the costs do add up.

Cranberries, sweet potatoes, peas, celery and carrots add up to an average total cost of $8.02. Generally, I save on produce by buying in bulk. However, you need to make sure that you plan out your meals for the next several days to make sure you aren’t spoiling the leftovers.

Pie Is Important Too

By far, the next biggest item on the average Thanksgiving menu is pie. The Farm Bureau cuts its pie’s in fifths and expects that the average family will need two pies for a family of ten. That means spending an average of $2.51 on pie shells, $3.02 on pumpkin pie mix and $1.83 on whipping cream. My calculator adds this up to $7.36.

Since pumpkin pie is seasonal, it’s common to find pumpkin mix coupons throughout the month. Pie shells can be purchased in bulk. With Christmas around the corner, it might be a good idea to stock up the freezer with extra shells.

Perhaps I’m just penny pinching. However, with little to no effort at all, my family was able to cut the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner in half. How about your family?

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Posted by JP   @   22 November 2012 0 comments
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