Infographic: Turkey dinner cost down from 2012

by Ron Sterk and Monica Watrous
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WASHINGTON — The average cost of a classic Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 declined 44c from 2012, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual survey.

Infographic: Costs of a classic Thanksgiving dinner, compared with last year's average.

The informal survey indicated the average dinner cost this year at $49.04, down 44c from $49.48 in 2012 and the lowest since $43.47 in 2010. The A.F.B.F. shopping list includes about 11 key items with beverages and miscellaneous ingredients in sufficient quantity to feed a family of 10.

The key item on the survey — a 16-lb turkey — averaged $21.76 this year, or about $1.36 per lb, down 47c, or 3c a lb, from last year, the A.F.B.F. said.

“Most Americans will pay about the same as last year at the grocery store for a turkey and all the trimmings,” said John Anderson, A.F.B.F. deputy chief economist. “Slightly higher turkey production for much of the year coupled with an increase in birds in cold storage may be responsible for the moderate price decrease our shoppers reported.”

Other items that declined included: a dozen brown-n-serve rolls at $2.18, down 15c; 1-lb of green peas at $1.54, down 12c; a 14-oz package of cubed bread stuffing at $2.67, down 10c; 12-oz of fresh cranberries at $2.42, down 3c; and two 9-inch pie shells at $2.49, down 2c.

Items for which prices increased included: 3-lbs of sweet potatoes at $3.36, up 21c; one gallon of whole milk at $3.66, up 7c; a 30-oz can of pumpkin pie mix at $3.10, up 8c; a 1-lb carrot and celery relish tray at 81c, up 5c; a half pint of whipping cream at $1.85, up 2c; and miscellaneous items such as coffee and a combined group of ingredients needed to make the meal, including onions, eggs, sugar, flour evaporated milk and butter at $3.20, up 2c.

“The stable average price reported this year by Farm Bureau for a classic Thanksgiving dinner tracks closely with the government’s Consumer Price Index for food eaten at home, which indicates a 1% increase compared to a year ago,” the A.F.B.F. said.

The survey was conducted by 167 volunteer shoppers in 34 states who look for the best possible prices, the A.F.B.F. said.
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