Good news: The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) predicts Thanksgiving dinner will cost a little less this year. On average, it’s $49.04 to serve turkey and all the trimmings for ten. That’s just under $5 per person. Here’s how much the AFBF predicts you’ll spend on each dish and how you can save a little extra.
16 lbs Turkey
AFBF price: $21.76
Savings tip: Last minute shopping may cost you. Frozen turkeys almost always cost less than fresh, but you have to allow time to thaw—about a day for every 4 pounds.
14 oz Stuffing
AFBF price: $2.67
Savings tip: No need to splurge on the stuffing. Raid your freezer for leftover bread or buy what’s on sale. Fresh herbs and produce will add great flavor to your stuffing, no matter what bread you use.
3 lbs Sweet Potatoes
AFBF price: $3.36
Savings tip: If you’re serving a large crowd this year, considering buying your produce like sweet potatoes at a wholesale produce market. This is where the restaurants shop, but most are open to the public. Just call ahead for details and be prepared to shop early.
AFBF price: $2.18
Savings tip: Very few of us will be making our rolls from scratch. So to give your rolls the gourmet touch, make a compound butter. Soften butter and then mix it with honey and chopped walnuts, garlic and roasted peppers or fresh herbs.
1 lb Green Peas
AFBF price: $1.54
Savings tip: Compare the cost of frozen vegetables with fresh. Frozen produce is frozen at its peak, preserving the nutrients and making it an affordable and nutritious option.
12 oz Fresh Cranberries
AFBF price: $2.42
Savings tip: Cranberries go on sale this month, so now’s the time to stock up if you plan on using them throughout the holidays. Freeze cranberries in a sealed, airtight container and they will last for about a year.
Relish Tray (Carrots & Celery):
AFBF price: $0.81
Savings tip: Chances are you’ll pay a premium for pre-washed and cut veggies. Chop your own carrot and celery sticks. It takes extra time but can be done days ahead of time.
2 Pumpkin Pie Shells, 30 oz Pumpkin Pie Mix, & ½ pint Whipped Cream
AFBF price: 7.44
Savings tip: Homemade pies can save you money and the good news is apple and pumpkin (Thanksgiving staples) are two of the least expensive pies to make. Use a premade piecrust and any amateur baker can handle this job.
1 gallon Milk
AFBF price: $3.66
Savings tip: Keep beverage options to a minimum—milk, coffee and an after-dinner treat for the kids like hot cocoa or apple cider. Stick to inexpensive wine and pour it into a decanter. Most guests won’t think twice.
Save $0.35 off any three TruMoo single serve milk boxes (available at Safeway)
AFBF Price: $3.20
Savings tip: Plan menus and grocery lists for the rest of your holiday meals. That way you can spread out shopping and take advantage of Thanksgiving sales for all the things you’ll need in December, like baking supplies or that holiday ham.