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Posted on Nov 15, 2023 in Featured, Grocery Price Watch, News Releases

Cost of Texas Thanksgiving dinner up slightly

Cost of Texas Thanksgiving dinner up slightly

(WACO, Texas)—The average cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner in Texas is slightly more expensive than a year ago, according to Farm Bureau’s annual price survey.

The average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving feast for 10 in Texas is $61.89 or $6.19 per person. The average cost of the same meal in Texas in 2022 was $58.81 or $5.88 per person.

The average cost of the classic meal in the U.S. this year is $61.17 or $6.12 per person.

“High food prices remain a concern as inflation continues to impact families across Texas and the country,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “Farmers and ranchers are working hard to meet growing demands for food while facing higher prices for fuel, seed, fertilizer and other expenses related to growing our food.”

A Thanksgiving meal is about 25% higher than it was in 2019, which highlights the impact high supply costs and inflation have had on food prices since before the pandemic.

The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables—the turkey—helped bring down the overall cost of dinner. The average U.S. price for a 16-pound turkey is $27.35. That is $1.71 per pound, down 5.6% from last year. The average price in Texas for a 16-pound turkey is $28.48 or $1.78 per pound.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers checked prices Nov. 1-6, before most grocery store chains began featuring whole frozen turkeys at sharply lower prices. According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, the average per-pound feature price for whole frozen turkeys declined further during the second week of November. Consumers who have not yet purchased a turkey may find additional savings in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

“Traditionally, the turkey is the most expensive item on the Thanksgiving dinner table,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Economist Veronica Nigh. “Turkey prices have fallen thanks to a sharp reduction in cases of avian influenza, which have allowed production to increase in time for the holiday.”

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty of leftovers.

In recognition of changes in Thanksgiving dinner traditions, the Farm Bureau price survey also includes boneless ham, Russet potatoes and frozen green beans, in an expanded menu. Adding these foods to the classic Thanksgiving menu increased the overall U.S. cost by $23.58, to $84.75. The average cost of the expanded Thanksgiving menu in Texas is $86.40. 

This year’s national average cost was calculated using 245 surveys completed with pricing data from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers checked prices in person and online using grocery store apps and websites. They looked for the best possible prices without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.

The AFBF Thanksgiving dinner survey was first conducted in 1986. The informal survey provides a record of comparative holiday meal costs over the years. Farm Bureau’s classic survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

Individual U.S. prices

  • 16-pound turkey: $27.35 or $1.71 per pound (down 5.6%)
  • 14-ounces of cubed stuffing mix: $3.77 (down 2.8%)
  • 2 frozen pie crusts: $3.50 (down 4.9%)
  • Half pint of whipping cream: $1.73 (down 22.8%)
  • 1 pound of frozen peas: $1.88 (down 1.1%)
  • 1 dozen dinner rolls: $3.84 (up 2.9%)
  • ingredients to prepare the meal: $3.95 (down 4.4%)
  • 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix: $4.44 (up 3.7%)
  • 1 gallon of whole milk: $3.74 (down 2.6%)
  • 3 pounds of sweet potatoes: $3.97 (up .3%)
  • 1-pound veggie tray (carrots & celery): $.90 (up 2.3%)
  • 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries: $2.10 (down 18.3%)

Regional averages
AFBF analysis revealed regional differences in the cost of the meal.

The cost for the classic meal was the most affordable in the Midwest at $58.66, followed by the South at $59.10, the West at $63.89 and the Northeast at $64.38.

The expanded meal (classic meal plus boneless ham, Russet potatoes and green beans) was the most affordable in the Midwest at $81.83, the South at $82.61, the West at $87.75 and the Northeast at $88.43.

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