Inflation continues to gobble up Thanksgiving budgets this year

  • The average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner of 10 people is $64.05, up 20% from last year’s record-setting $53.31.

Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends is always a special occasion filled with fellowship, memories, and good food. However, this year’s Thanksgiving feast is also filled with higher prices thanks to the ever-present inflation we have been dealing with for almost two years. 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average cost for a dinner of 10 people is $64.05, up 20% from last year’s record-setting $53.31.

Inflation has cut the purchasing power significantly for most families buying food in 2022. 

Similar issues that affected the Thanksgiving meal last year are still present, including supply chain issues, transportation expenses, and labor shortages. The war in Ukraine is also an additional factor this year. 

The turkey, in particular, costs more than last year, at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird. That’s up 21% from last year. The Farm Bureau’s survey said that feed costs, lighter processing weights, and the Avian Flu in some areas of the country are some of the reasons contributing to more expensive costs of the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving Day table. 

Dinner rolls are expected to cost, on average, $3.73 for a dozen, up 22% from last year; three pounds of sweet potatoes are $3.96, up 11%; cube stuffing, 14 oz, $3.88, up a staggering 69%; two frozen pie crusts, $3.68, up 26%; and pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz, $4.28.

The AFBF also broke down the cost regionally. The South had the most affordable cost – $58.42, followed by the Northeast – $64.02, Midwest – $64.26, and West – $71.37.

AFBF conducted its first survey in 1986. 

North Carolina has been consistently ranked second in the nation for turkey production, including Butterball, headquartered in Garner, and Prestage Farms, headquartered in Clinton. 

If you want to save money, a study by Wells Fargo suggests that it may be cheaper to eat out this year for Thanksgiving, but mainly for those with smaller families. 

Chocolate and Chip, two turkeys pardoned by President Biden in the annual White House tradition, would probably suggest you forgo turkey altogether as they relax in their new digs at NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

However you celebrate, best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!