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What Each Part of Thanksgiving Dinner Costs in 2019

Doug Whiteman
What Each Part of Thanksgiving Dinner Costs in 2019

Making Thanksgiving dinner for the family is enough to get any cook seriously frazzled, so thank goodness the cost isn't much to fret over.

A holiday dinner for 10 is a relative bargain in 2019, costing an average $48.91 or less than $5 per person, according to the 34th annual Thanksgiving prices survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

This year's overall cost is just a penny more than last year, and that's after three years of declining prices.

The Farm Bureau Federation's Thanksgiving dinner price tag is derived from the costs of a dozen classic items found at the big feast. Take a look at the cost of each part of your holiday meal.

1. The turkey

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

2019 price: $20.80

The centerpiece of the typical Thanksgiving dinner — a 16-pound turkey — costs about $1 less than last year, when the average price was $21.71. Today's retail turkey prices are said to be the lowest since 2010.

An overwhelming 95% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving by gobbling down turkey, though the bird shares the spotlight with ham in about half of U.S. households.

2. Pumpkin pie mix

skeeze / Pixabay

2019 price: $3.32

What would Thanksgiving be without a gourd-geous pumpkin pie on the table? This price this year of canned pumpkin pie filling is just a penny below last year's average cost, which was $3.33.

Pumpkin pie will be on more than three-quarters (78%) of Thanksgiving tables, the American Farm Bureau Federation finds. Pecan pie is popular, too, but for many people it's pumpkin — or nothin'.

3. Milk

Kaiskynet Studio / Shutterstock

2019 price: $3.10

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 18 cents cheaper than last Thanksgiving's average price of $2.92.

Some 92% of Americans plan to spend the holiday at their own home or at a family member's home. Just 3% say they'll go out to a restaurant.

4. A veggie tray

Aypril Porter / Shutterstock

2019 price: 79 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 4 cents more than last year, when the average cost was 75 cents.

How many people will be gathered at your Thanksgiving dinner? The most common answer (at 36%) is six to 10, while about a quarter (24%) of Americans say they'll be feasting with three to five people.

5. Rolls

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

2019 price: $2.50

A basket of rolls for the Thanksgiving table costs 25 cents more in 2019 compared to a year ago, when Americans paid an average $2.25.

After the turkey, rolls are tied with mashed potatoes as the second most popular item for the big holiday dinner, with 86% of people expecting they'll be offered both at the meal.

6. Pie shells

kheira benkada / Shutterstock

2019 price: $2.52

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 a little over $2.50 this year, a nickel more than 2018's average price of $2.47.

A majority of Americans — 84% — say they'll be at a Thanksgiving dinner cooked entirely at home, while 14% say some dishes will come from a restaurant, supermarket or other retailer.

7. Whipping cream

HikoPhotography / Shutterstock

2019 price: $2.08

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 is unchanged from last year.

Millennials are the age group least likely to do all of their Thanksgiving cooking at home. Among 20- to 30-somethings, 19% say they'll rely on store-bought or restaurant food for part of the meal.

8. Green peas

Wonderwall / Shutterstock

2019 price: $1.49

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 only slightly more in 2019. Last year's average cost was $1.47. Peas will be served at 20% of Thanksgiving meals; green beans are a more popular choice, at 72%.

9. Fresh cranberries

Julia Metkalova / Shutterstock

2019 price: $2.66

Another colorful component of Thanksgiving dinner is the cranberry sauce. Twelve ounces of fresh cranberries cost just a penny more than last year's average price of $2.65.

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

Elena Veselova / Shutterstock

2019 price: $2.68

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 19 cents less this year. In 2018, the average price was $2.87.

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

vm2002 / Shutterstock

2019 price: $3.75

The Farm Bureau Federation's survey finds 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 36 cents more for three pounds of the tubers than you did last year, when the average cost was $3.39.

12. Other ingredients

JC Through The Lens / Shutterstock

2019 price: $3.22

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 do serve mac 'n cheese — and gravy, and corn.

Those and other miscellaneous holiday meal ingredients cost 21 cents more this year than in 2018, when the average was $3.01.

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