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How much does a Thanksgiving meal cost?

By Kara Driscoll • Nov 17, 2016 at 4:23 PM

The cost of a Thanksgiving meal has decreased just slightly compared to last year, according to a new report.

The American Farm Bureau Federation found it costs an average of about $49.87 for a 10-person dinner, a 24-cent decrease from last year. The federation released its annual informal price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Last year’s average was about $50.11 for a 10-person dinner. The big-ticket item this year was the main staple of Thanksgiving — the turkey. A 16-pound turkey cost a total of about $23 this year, roughly $1.42 per pound. That’s a decrease of about 30 cents per whole turkey compared to 2015.

“Consumers will pay less than $5 per person for a classic Thanksgiving dinner this year,” said John Newton, AFBF director of market intelligence. “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.”

The survey includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk.

“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,” Newton said. “Additionally, this year’s pumpkin prices are slightly lower following the production decline and higher prices seen in 2015.”

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