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What the flock?! Serving up a traditional turkey meal will cost you 20% more this year — these are the staples that will gobble up your budget faster

What the flock?! Serving up a traditional turkey meal will cost you 20% more this year — these are the staples that will gobble up your budget faster
What the flock?! Serving up a traditional turkey meal will cost you 20% more this year — these are the staples that will gobble up your budget faster

Even with temperatures dropping across the country, inflation remains scorching hot.

And with food prices currently serving as a major driver of the country’s record-high inflation rate, families already struggling to keep costs down at the grocery store might be worrying what the damage will be when it comes time to shop for Thanksgiving dinner.

Making a meal for the whole family — and whoever else ends up at your table — can be stressful. But knowing what you’re in for might help.

A holiday dinner for 10 will cost an average of $64.05 or just under $6.50 per person, according to the 37th annual Thanksgiving prices survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The AFBF comes up with this price tag based on the average costs of a dozen classic items found at the big feast.

This year's overall cost is a 20% increase from last year’s survey, when the meal was expected to cost an average $53.31. Here’s how much the prices have changed in 2022 for each part of your holiday meal.

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1. The turkey

2022 price: $28.96

The centerpiece of the typical Thanksgiving dinner — a 16-pound turkey — costs about $5 more than last year, when the average price was $23.99.

While inflation is partly to blame for this price change, there are other factors driving up prices.

“The higher retail turkey cost at the grocery store can also be attributed to a slightly smaller flock this year, increased feed costs and lighter processing weights,” says AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan.

And while Cryan expects there will be an adequate supply of turkeys this year, some states that dealt with avian influenza earlier this year may deal with shortages.

2. Pumpkin pie mix

2022 price: $4.28

What would Thanksgiving be without a gourd-geous pumpkin pie on the table? A 20-oz can of pumpkin pie filling will cost you about 64 cents more this year, compared to $3.64 in 2021.

A 2020 YouGov survey shows that pumpkin pie is the most popular sweet pastry after the Thanksgiving meal, followed by pecan pie.

3. Milk

2022 price: $3.84

How about some milk to go with your dinner? Or for the coffee you'll need to fight off sleepiness after your big meal? A gallon of whole milk is 54 cents more expensive than last Thanksgiving's average price of $3.30.

But Americans have already prepared themselves for these price increases. Nearly 7 in 10 will be adjusting their meal plans this year due to rising costs.

4. A veggie tray

2022 price: 88 cents

A good host knows to give guests something to snack on while they wait for the big bird to be carved. Assembling a one-pound vegetable tray will run you 6 cents more than last year, when the average cost was 82 cents.

In fact, saving on vegetables is one of the top ways Americans plan to cut back on their holiday meal expenses this year: 27% say they’ll be buying more canned and frozen veggies this year, while 20% plan to buy fewer fresh vegetables.

5. Rolls

2022 price: $3.73

A basket of rolls for the Thanksgiving table costs 68 cents more in 2022 compared to a year ago, when Americans paid an average $3.05.

How many people will be gathered at your Thanksgiving dinner? More than half of those surveyed by NielsenIQ said they’ll be attending a meal with fewer than 10 people.

6. Pie shells

2022 price: $3.68

Once you've put the pumpkin pie filling in your shopping cart, you'll need to think about pie shells. Two of them will cost you close to $4 this year, 77 cents more than 2021's average price of $2.91.

Read more: You’re probably overpaying when you shop online — get this free tool before Black Friday

For American who enjoy pie after dinner, 37% told YouGov in 2020 that they made everything from scratch, while 32% said they use store-bought shortcuts like pie shells and canned filling.

7. Whipping cream

2022 price: $2.24

So, you've got the pumpkin pie filling, and you've got the pie shells. Better not forget the whipped cream to go on top. The price of a half-pint of whipping cream has risen by 46 cents from $1.78 in 2021.

But more importantly, will your waistband be feeling too restrictive by the time dessert comes around? A whopping 76% plan to avoid that by putting comfort first this year with either donning adjustable pants or even sweatpants.

8. Green peas

2022 price: $1.90

Peas are not only tasty, but they also add a pop of green to a plate of Thanksgiving food. Plus, they provide guests with another serving of their veggies.

A pound of peas is costing holiday food shoppers a bit more in 2022. Last year's average cost was $1.54.

9. Fresh cranberries

2022 price: $2.57

Another colorful component of Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce. Twelve ounces of fresh cranberries was the only item on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s list that decreased in price this year.

It's not known if cranberries were part of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving, in 1621, but a sauce made of cranberries dates back to the 1630s, according to MarthaStewart.com.

10. Cubed stuffing

2022 price: $3.88

Some people get fancy when stuffing their turkey, and they toss chestnuts, sausage and even oysters into the mix. If traditional cubed stuffing is all you need, 14 ounces of the stuff will cost a whopping $1.59 more this year. In 2021, the average price was $2.29.

By the way, not everyone calls it stuffing. Southerners prefer to say dressing, and in parts of Pennsylvania they call it filling, says the History channel.

11. Sweet potatoes

2022 price: $3.96

An AFBF survey from a few years ago found that 8 in 10 Americans are either very or somewhat willing to try new dishes at Thanksgiving dinner.

But let's be honest: It's going to be hard for anything to come along and replace traditional favorites like sweet potatoes. You'll pay 40 cents more for three pounds of the tubers than you did last year, when the average cost was $3.56.

12. Other ingredients

2022 price: $4.13

Do you tend to find macaroni and cheese next to the cranberry sauce, the rolls and all of the other Thanksgiving dinner staples? Many people serve mac 'n cheese — and gravy, and corn.

Those and other miscellaneous holiday meal ingredients cost 68 cents more this year than in 2022, when the average was $3.45.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.