Each year the Farm Bureau conducts a survey to determine the average cost of a thanksgiving dinner for 10 people. Given the historically high rate of inflation being experienced around the world, it’s no surprise that the cost of the Thanksgiving meal in the US has soared by 20% since last year to $64.05. This 20% increase is much higher than the overall rate of inflation, so let’s take a look at what is included in this Thanksgiving meal:
Looking at the change in prices from last year to this year, the largest percentage increase is Cubed Stuffing (+69%) and Fresh Cranberries is the only item on the menu that declined in price over the past year (-14%). The main component, a 16-pound turkey, has increased in price by 21% or almost $5.
Saving Money on Thanksgiving Dinner
Something that many people may not know is that the prices that are used in surveys such as this (and even the Consumer Price Index) are based on tracking the price of a specific item at a specific set of stores at the same time each month or year. This type of price checking is the best way to be consistent over time, but it is not the way that most people do their shopping, especially those that have more frugal tendencies like myself. People like us love shopping sales and using coupons to get the most value for our hard earned dollars, so let’s take a look at what the cost of this Thanksgiving meal might be if someone did a little comparison shopping to get the best deals.
I’m checking the weekly sale flyer for two major supermarket retailers in my local area and posting the price of the same item as used in the Farm Bureau survey to see how much I can save by just shopping sale pricing at the stores that I routinely shop at:
|16-pound Turkey||$8.80 (on sale $0.55/lb)|
|Sweet Potatoes||$0.75 (on sale $0.25/lb)|
|Carrots & Celery||$0.98|
|9” Pie Shells||$2.24|
|Pumpkin Pie Mix||$3.28|
|Savings compared to Farm Bureau||$36.43 (57% savings)|
I was shocked to see such a large price difference between the official Farm Bureau survey results and my own price comparison in the sales flyers for two local supermarkets. Holidays tend to bring out the competition among retailers and the $0.55/lb turkey is a great example of that store using it as a loss leader to get people into their store. This just goes to show how much money can be saved by a typical consumer by sticking to sale pricing and just spending a few minutes to comparison shop when putting together your grocery shopping list. Saving money doesn’t need to be time consuming.
There are even a couple of substitutions I would personally make in the above product list to save even more money for my Thanksgiving meal, like buying a pre-made pumpkin pie instead of the separate pie shells, pie mix, and whipping cream. Making these additional substitutions would bring the price of the meal down to around $2.50 per person. That’s some cheap eats!