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The Price of Thanksgiving

American Farm Bureau puts out an annual list of what that year’s costs for a Thanksgiving dinner are. Last year, for example, the cost of the meal went down from the year before.

With much higher prices being predicted for this year, and with Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, The Paper pulled out the cost of the last two years of Thanksgiving dinners and put that information in a chart for you.

How will they compare to 2021? So far, the cost of turkey may well break an all-time record. The supply chair shortage is also impacting a lot of prices, and even the potential availability of some items.

According to our newsgathering partners at WTHR, the cost of aluminum is at a 10-year high, and that may impact not just the cost but even the availability of the popular throw-away aluminum trays that are used so much at Thanksgiving.

The cost of shipping is impacting prices all across the board, as well as whether or not items will even be available.

On the other side, at least most families have the green light to get together – unlike last year when the pandemic was keeping people at home.

The only thing for certain is it’s going to be an interesting holiday!


Thanksgiving Food Items 2019 2020 2021
16-pound turkey $20.80  $19.39  ?
Pumpkin Pie mix 30 oz. $3.32  $3.39  ?
Milk, 1 gallon, whole $3.10  $3.08  ?
1 pound veggie tray 0.79 0.73 ?
Misc. ingredients $3.22  $3.09  ?
Rolls 12 $2.50  $2.66  ?
Pie shells (2) $2.52  $2.42  ?
Green peas 1-pound $1.49  $1.46  ?
Fresh cranberries 12 oz. $2.66  $2.69  ?
Whipping cream 1/2 pint $2.08  $1.74  ?
Cubed stuffing 14 oz. $2.68  $2.81  ?
Sweet Potatoes 3 pounds $3.75  $3.44  ?
Total Classic Dinner $48.91  $46.90  ?
Ham 4 pounds $9.16  $9.16  ?
Russet potatoes 5 pounds $2.74  $2.55  ?
Green beans 1 pound $1.51  $1.50  ?
Modern Dinner $62.32  $60.11  ?
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation