By Frank Williams Jr.

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, supermarkets are bound to be packed with folks picking up all their goodies for a great holiday feast, and anyone who’s ever hosted a Thanksgiving meal knows it can get quite costly. Well, don’t tell that to the American Farm Bureau Federation, because they’ve come out with their 32nd annual report on what a Thanksgiving meal should cost, and once again it is ridiculously low.

According to the group, the total cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 should be $49.12, which comes out to less than $5 a person, and is down from $49.87 last year, making it the cheapest Thanksgiving meal in five years. The most expensive item will, of course, be the turkey at $1.40 a pound, or $22.38 for a 16-pound bird, which is down a total of 36 cents from last year’s cost, or two cents per pound.

As for the rest of the cheap meal, it includes:

  • A 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix – $3.21 (an increase from last year)
  • A gallon of milk – $2.99 (a decrease from last year)
  • A one-pound veggie tray of celery and carrots -$0.74 (an increase from last year)
  • A dozen brown-and-serve rolls – $2.26 (a decrease from last year)
  • Two nine-inch pie shells – $2.45 (a decrease from last year)
  • One pound of green peas – $1.53 (a decrease from last year)
  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries – $2.43(an increase from last year)
  • A half-pint of whipping cream – $2.08 (an increase from last year)
  • A 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing – $2.81(an increase from last year)
  • A three-pound bag of fresh sweet potatoes – $3.52 (a decrease from last year)
  • Miscellaneous items (butter, evaporated milk, onions, eggs, sugar and flour) – $2.72 (a decrease from last year)

Sure, those numbers seem absurdly low, but believe it or not, the group came up with their estimates based on information from 141 shoppers who checked grocery prices in 39 states. Obviously none of them went to Whole Foods.

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation


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