‘Feed the Fridge’ founder Mark Bucher discusses how his organization is helping provide Thanksgiving meals to families in the Washington, D.C. area.
Your Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings is expected to cost 20% more than last year as a result of painfully high inflation.
That's according to a new study from the American Farm Bureau Federation, which showed that a feast for 10 with 12 menu items will cost $64.05 on average this year – up from $53.31 in 2021. Per person, that would cost about $6.50.
It will be the most expensive dinner since the holiday survey launched 37 years ago. The shopping list includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk.
"General inflation slashing the purchasing power of consumers is a significant factor contributing to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner," said Roger Cryan, the bureau's chief economist, in a statement.
An image of a Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, vegetables and more. (iStock / iStock)
The priciest menu item, as is typical, will be the turkey: On average, a 16-pound turkey cost $28.96 this year, up 21% from 2021, according to the survey. The cost increase stems from the general inflation spike as well as a slightly smaller flock of turkeys this year, more expensive feed costs and lighter processing scales.
The cost of other menu items surged even more. A 14-ounce bag of cubed stuffing mixed soared 69% from last year and now costs – on average – about $3.88. Frozen pie crusts, meanwhile, rose 26% while a bag of frozen peas is 23% more expensive than just one year ago.
A bag of frozen dinner rolls is up 22%, while a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix costs 18% more than one year ago.
Shoppers are seen in a Kroger supermarket on October 14, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images) ((Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)
"Farmers are working hard to meet growing demands for food – both here in the U.S. and globally – while facing rising prices for fuel, fertilizer and other inputs," said Cryan.
Although inflation came in softer-than-expected last month, prices remained elevated at 7.7% in October, hovering near a 40-year high.
Scorching-hot inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already stretched paychecks are heavily impacted by price fluctuations.
Although American workers have seen strong wage gains in recent months, inflation has largely eroded those.
Average hourly earnings actually declined 0.1% in October on an inflation-adjusted basis. Compared with the previous year, earnings are down 2.8%, according to a separate Labor Department report.