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Cost of Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Up Slightly in 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

(American Meat Institute)

Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner increased about 1.3 percent in price this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 25th annual informal price survey.

According to the survey, the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $43.47, a 56-cent price increase from last year’s average of $42.91. This year’s meal is actually $1.14 cheaper than what shoppers paid two years ago, when the total was $44.61.

The AFBF survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.

The meal’s centerpiece – a 16-pound turkey – was actually cheaper this year, at $17.66, a decrease of about 6 cents per pound, or a total of 99 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2009.

A gallon of whole milk increased in price by 38 cents per gallon, to $3.24. Other items that showed a price increase from last year were: a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $2.62, up 17 cents; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.46, up 12 cents; ½ pint of whipping cream, $1.70, up 15 cents; three pounds of sweet potatoes, $3.19, up 7 cents; a one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, 77 cents, up 5 cents; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.12, up 4 cents.

A combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) also increased in price, to $3.22.

Joining the turkey as items that decreased in price this year were: one pound of green peas, $1.44, down 14 cents; and a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.64, down 1 cent.

Another of the traditional Thanksgiving items, fresh cranberries, was unchanged from last year, with a 12-ounce package selling for $2.41.

More than 112 volunteer shoppers from 34 states participated in this year’s survey. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

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